He succeeds Norwich & Peterborough Building Society chief executive Matthew Bullock.
Cornish became chief executive of the Yorkshire Building Society in 2003,having joined the society 1992. Skipton chief executive John Goodfellow takes over from Cornish as BSA deputy chairman. Cornish says: “There has never been a greater need or desire on the part of consumers for advice and financial products from a source they feel they can genuinely trust.
“Building societies have a tremendous opportunity to meet this demand and to build on their unique position in the financial services marketplace. I am privileged to have the opportunity to represent societies large and small who are doing great things for their members and their communities throughout the country.”
Bullock says: “I believe I am handing over the association in much the same good condition as I got it from Phillip Williamson.
“It has been a pleasure leading such an enduring and robust bunch of people and I thank you for the support you have given me.”