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AGM 2020

Our 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held at our Head Office at Buckinghamshire Building Society, High Street, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, HP8 4QB on Wednesday 22 April 2020, following the latest Government advice and restrictions on social gatherings.

We asked our staff, who are also members to help us with the quorum requirements. Unfortunately, this meant that we were not able to welcome other members to our AGM this year, in order to reflect the official guidance on social distancing, requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.   

We are pleased to share with you our CEO’s speech from the AGM, the voting results and also our responses to the questions received from our esteemed members.

CEO Speech at the AGM

Dear Members,

This meeting is taking place at an extraordinary time for all of us. Unfortunately, this means that our AGM is taking place behind closed doors as we continue to take all the actions required to comply with the official lockdown guidance.  Although our offices are closed, the Society continues to serve our members almost as normal, even making arrangements for getting cash to those members who have difficulty in obtaining it otherwise.  I wish to thank all of our staff for their dedication, professionalism and determination to overcome the many obstacles to be there to meet your needs.

Thankfully, as you can see from our 2019 annual report, the Buckinghamshire Building Society has entered this crisis - and our 114th year - in a position of considerable strength. The Society performed very well in what was, by normal reckoning, quite a difficult year in the mortgage market. Despite extraordinary levels of competition on rates, we grew our mortgage book to its highest ever level whilst modestly increasing our profit.  We increased our membership numbers in both mortgages and savings, a good indicator of our health.  Our savings rates remained very competitive and significantly above our peer average. We did all of that whilst adhering to our Board’s first strategic objective: to be conservative and prudent in our management of the Society - exemplified by our very strong capital and liquidity.

We are determined to use our strength and security to contribute strongly to helping our country and our local community to emerge renewed from this difficult period.  We will continue to provide mortgage finance, including to people who are seeking to overcome the intense difficulties created by the crisis. We stand ready to actively help our existing members struggling to restore their finances. We will continue to seek to deliver the best value that we possibly can on our savings rates, even in this unprecedented period of low interest rates.

Every year, our members are invited to vote for a charity from a carefully-selected shortlist to receive a donation from our Charitable Foundation, which is run by Heart of Bucks.  Last year, you voted for Pace to receive this donation.  Based in Aylesbury, Pace is a ground-breaking children’s charity that transforms the lives of children and young people with motor disorders, such as cerebral palsy.

This AGM marks the stepping down of two of our directors, Robin Bailey (our former chairman) and Robert Sinclair.  We will miss their contributions greatly and I want to thank them again for their invaluable service to the Society over many years.  Dick Jenkins has proven to be an excellent Chair since he took over from Robin in mid-year.  We were pleased to attract a large list of very high quality applicants to fill in the vacancies on the Board and are delighted to say that we have identified two very capable candidates to join us.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members for your continuing loyalty and support.  On behalf of the Society, I wish you and your families good health and well being as we move to better days ahead.

Gerard O’ Keeffe, CEO , 

Buckinghamshire Building Society

Voting Results from the 2020 AGM

Ordinary Resolutions

No. of Votes in favour

No. of Votes Against

No. of Votes in withheld

Percentage in favour

To receive the Directors’ Report, the Annual Accounts, the Annual Business Statement and the Auditors’ Report for the year ended 31 December 2019.





To consider and, if thought fit, pass an Ordinary Resolution to re-appoint KPMG LLP as Auditor of the Society until the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting. 





To consider and, if thought fit, pass an Ordinary Resolution to approve the Directors’ Remuneration Report for the year ended 31 December 2019.





To elect Darrin Narendra Ramdeen as a Director.





To re-elect Christine Anne Higgins as a Director.





To re- elect Stephen Scott Nichols as a Director. 






Questions received from our members:

Q1.   Dear Bucks Building Society, The Society’s Non-Executive and Executive Directors consist of eight men and one woman. This is a poor record for gender diversity, and this has been the case for many years. What positive actions are the Board undertaking to improve it? Thank you and best wishes, Robert Hall

Response: Dear Mr. Hall

Thank you very much for your question. The Board agrees on the importance of diversity and on the importance of increasing the gender balance on our Board. We are very pleased to have identified an excellent woman candidate to join the Board following this AGM.

Our overarching duty is to ensure that we have the right balance of skills, technical knowledge, and personal attributes. We seek a diverse cross-section of people who possess these qualities. Diversity was a very important but not the overriding consideration when we were recruiting for new directors to join the Board over the next few months. We are confident that the new joiners on the Board will show our commitment to enhancing diversity and at the same time contribute towards the Society’s long term goal of a sustainable future.                                                           

Thanking you

On behalf of the Board of Buckinghamshire Building Society

Q2:   As a small local building society, the Board of Directors and staff has continued to maintain the society as an independent society providing for the needs of its members.
I would like to be recorded in the minutes of the AGM that we are very grateful for the hard work and endeavour of all of the staff and Directors. At next year's AGM I will be able (subject to the coronavirus having passed) to stand up in person and speak on behalf of the members and repeat my comments. I wish the Society every good wish for the coming year in very difficult and trying circumstances. Best regards Howard Machin

Response: Dear Mr. Machin

Thank you very much for your kind comments. The Board and staff of the Society would like to express their gratitude for your support for us during these very difficult and unprecedented times.  

Thanking you

On behalf of the Board of Buckinghamshire Building Society