Following closely on the process of decimalizing the Societies, came intense talk of the possibility of a merger of three societies (St James, Brown’s Town and St Ann), with the Westmoreland Building Society.
The St. James Benefit Building Society, founded in 1874, but incorporated in 1901, began modestly as a penny savings bank for members of the congregation of the Reverend Cork, its founder. He is also recorded as the founder of the St Ann Benefit Building Society, in 1875.
The Brown’s Town Benefit Building Society was the “baby” of the merging societies, having been founded only 74 years before in 1896. Its founder, Mr. A. H. Allwood, a solicitor by profession, started the Society with a desk in his own office where people, including little children, encouraged to save, came to deposit their pennies.
Within the merging societies, the fears of employees were allayed with the undertaking given by management through the Instrument of Transfer, which guaranteed that no member of staff would be made worse off as a result of the merger. As each building society was unique to the parish or town of its name, there was no prospect of offices being closed and employees losing their jobs.