Jonathan Westhoff, Chief Executive of West Bromwich Building Society, has been elected Chairman of the Building Societies Association (BSA).
He replaces Dick Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Bath Building Society, who has held the post since November 2015.
At the same time, Stephen Mitcham, Chief Executive of Cambridge Building Society, has been elected as Deputy Chairman.
Commenting on his election, Jonathan Westhoff said: “I am becoming BSA Chairman at what promises to be an interesting time.
“We have been operating in relatively benign economic conditions over the past couple of years which have been good for businesses and good for consumers. The immediate future looks rather more uncertain with growing indications that the unexpected economic glow which followed the EU Referendum is coming to an end.
“Building societies are a critical part of the financial services landscape. They provide one new mortgage in every three and have worked hard to maintain savings rates through a low rate environment that’s lasted eight years.”
The BSA provides its members, all 44 building societies and four credit unions, with information to help them run their businesses and represents their interests to audiences including regulators, the Government and Parliament, the Bank of England, the media and the general public.
Jonathan added: “More than 21 million people in the UK are members of a building society. Across the sector we have the capacity and expertise to serve those with many different and sometimes complex financial needs, whether they are buying a home or saving.
“The building society focus on people rather than shareholders makes a difference to all the small daily decisions we take, as well as fulfilling our strategic purpose. Our members tell us that our approach to doing business makes a difference to them – which is what counts.”
Jonathan Westhoff joined the West Brom in May 2009 and was appointed Chief Executive in May 2011. He was formerly the Society’s Group Finance Director and Deputy Chief Executive.
After 17 years with Barclays Bank, Jonathan moved into the mutual sector in 2000, serving as Finance Director at Portman and Newcastle building societies. He became BSA Deputy Chairman in November 2016 and is a Councillor on the CBI’s West Midlands Council.