- Centurion Member
- Posts: 707
- Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:15 pm
- Location: Arizona
I believe a building society is more like a "savings and loan" but owned by members although in Australia they are required to be limited by shares which is essentially the same as a US corporation. Historically there were lots of regulations on financial in the US, UK, Australia, and elsewhere so that banks, S&Ls, CUs, and building societies were all somewhat different in how they were structured, what products they offered, and how they were allowed to operate. Since deregulation in all those countries there is now little or no practical difference among S&Ls, CUs, building societies, and even small or regional banks for that matter. If you are old enough to remember the way things were before the savings and loan crisis in the US then it might be better to think of a building society in Australia as a savings and loan here. If you are young then thinking of it as a credit union is probably better. Neither is 100% accurate though.