Ketley's Building Society

Paul Mazzetta

The 1st Building Society in the World

All good ideas start somewhere and need someone to take the first step to make them work.

Luckily for all of us, that first step was taken in 1775 by Richard Ketley in Birmingham. He setup the world's first Building Society that was quickly followed by many others across the North of England.

While we were looking for the best way to make buying a home fairer and profit free, the research team came across the history of the early building societies and knew they had found the answer.

The societies existed to provide each member with a home. The members numbered not more than 20 and paid an agreed sum weekly or fortnightly.  

When sufficient money had been accumulated, land was bought and building commenced. A ballot was held to decide who occupied the first house and each house going forward.  

Members continued to make regular payments until all members had been housed. The early building societies could therefore be seen as precisely that, societies of people who built themselves homes.

This was all long before governments and profit makers got involved.

Profit Free Mortgages is built on these very strong foundations laid down by the Building Societies movement.

We pool together groups of people from across the country who are looking to buy a home at a similar price level, for example, a group of 7 people looking to buy homes for around £145,000.

Each person joins Profit Free Mortgages as a Community Member and signs a Community Contract to contribute each month to a shared fund (known as a Community Trust) that will purchase each of their homes in turn.

Instead of a lottery to allocate houses we have a secret sauce that allows Members who are planning to buy a home over the longer term to benefit from Members looking to buy a home in the short-term.

All provided to Members profit free with average savings of £50,000+ on a high street, commercial interest based mortage.

A quick history of Building Societies

3rd Century BC - First surviving written documentation on collective saving in China

1775 - First Building Society in the World setup in Birmingham, UK

1831 - Building Societies spread to the United States

1995 - Building Society movement dealt blow by 'carpetbagging' where many were forced to demutalise and become private sector banks

2019 - Profit Free Mortgages established to re-launch profit free lending

Become a Member

And There's More We take the Building Society concept even further by using the power of social networks to strengthen our community bonds and support each individual Member as they achieve their home ownership goals.

Profit Free Mortgages is a Community Interest Company (CIC). You can read more on our company structure and how we invest all profits in our members here.

Become a Member
Learn about our Community

About the author

Paul's manages our relationship with funding bodies and grant providers. He represents the Profit Free Mortgages Community and works on your behalf to secure additional backing and support from some fantastic funding partners. Partners who want to see a fairer, profit free route to home ownership.

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