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Coles says societies should link up to promote mutual sector

Building Societies Association director general Adrian Coles says building societies should look to promote the benefits of the mutual sector through a joint advertising campaign.

But Coles warns that doing so would increase BSA subscriptions fivefold.

Last month, Money Marketing revealed that the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is in talks with third parties to fund a national advertising campaign to promote the benefits of mortgage advice.

During a panel debate at the BSA annual conference in Birmingham last week, Coles said many in the sector have previously been put off by the cost of a joint advertising campaign but he said that the idea should be revisited.

He said: “There has been an internal debate about whether we should have collective advertising since I have been at the BSA. The majority view is that the disadvantage of collective advertising is the cost. It does not come cheap and it has been shied away from but in my view it should be looked at again.

“To really move forward on this, building societies would have to pay subscriptions to the BSA of around five times what they are paying at the moment.”

Simplicity Financial Services principal Rob Downham says: “It would make sense to do it but whether financially it is something individual building societies would want to do is a different matter.”

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