10 FEBRUARY 1939, Page 42


Accounts of the leading building societies which are now coming out allay any fears which may have been felt about the building societies' position during the months of financial crisis. The accounts of the Abbey Road Building Society, for instance, betray no evidence that the shareholders or depositors took alarm during the crisis. The total investment of these shareholders and depositors actually increased during 1938 from £47,460,974 to £48,879,879, a total sum which is shared among no fewer than 275,723 people. During the same period the society increased its advances on mortgage from £44,056,168 to £46,o66,684.

It is fair to add that these figures have been achieved in spite of increased withdrawals by both shareholders and depositors. . The total amount of withdrawals and interest thereon rose £55o,168 to £6,748,681, but the increased flow of new money was so generous that the total assets available to the society continued to rise.

The rate of interest has been maintained at 31- per cent. tax free to shareholders and 21- tax free to depositors, and the society has increased the amounts of new money which it is prepared to receive up to an additional £r,000 provided the total investment does not exceed £5,00o. Doubtless the recent statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer promising some compensation in the event of war damage to property should also assist the expansion of business. The Society has still further strengthened its reserves by adding a further £200,000 to reserve fund No. r and the balance carried forward is raised from £102,899 to £113,182.