For immediate release – 13 March 2006: Building societies are keen to shout about about the
benefits of mutuality. Owned by their customers, mutuals are supposed to give a better financial
deal to savers and borrowers than the banks. But research from moneysupermarket.com, the
price comparison website, shows that this may be more myth than reality.

A close inspection of a cross-section of everyday financial products reveals that the banks are
offering consumers a better deal. So moneysupermarket.com asks - what are the benefits of

When comparing the top five best rates across a range of financial products offered by mutuals
and banks (see analysis below), the banks win quite comfortably. This is surprising given the
frequent claims of the building societies.

Stuart Glendinning, director of moneysupermarket.com said: "The mantra that mutuals are
better for customers than banks needs to be subjected to close scrutiny. I can’t help wondering
if they are guilty of believing their own spin because our analysis shows the banks are now
winning customers’ hearts and minds by offering better deals. There was once a distinct divide
between the deals with mutuals and non-mutuals, but now, any moral high ground that the
societies formerly occupied has been cut away by the banks to such an extent that building
society directors needs to look up to, not down at, their banking counterparts.

"While our research shows that mutuals can deliver the best deals for mortgages, the banks fare
better for regular savings, bonds, easy access accounts and notice accounts. Savers and
borrowers really need to do their homework and consumers shouldn't pay any attention to
building societies that bang on about the benefits of mutuality without justification.”
moneysupermarket.com’s research shows that there are significant savings to be made and
consumers may be wrong to automatically think that mutuals will offer them a better deal when
the reality is quite the opposite.

Stuart Glendinning concluded: “It seems to me that the banks have embraced the newer
distribution channels of telephone and in-particular the internet in a more effective manner than
the building societies. This may explain why the market has moved. The market is undoubtedly
richer for the existence of building societies but they need to move quicker and work harder to
reclaim the benefits of mutuality.”

Banks vs mutuals – how do they rank? *

Top Regular Saver account - Alliance & Leicester
Mean rate top five regular saver accounts (Bank) = 8.2%
Mean rate top five regular saver accounts (Mutual) = 6.05%
Winner: Bank

Top Notice account - Hampshire Trust
Mean rate top five notice accounts (Bank) = 4.9%
Mean rate top five notice accounts (Mutual) = 4.79%
Winner: Bank

Top Easy Access account - ICICI Bank
Mean rate top five easy access accounts (Bank) = 5%
Mean rate top five easy access accounts (Mutual) = 4.72%
All top five rates are offered by banks
Winner: Bank

Top Bond account - The Loughborough Building Society
Mean rate top five bonds (Bank) = 5.01%
Mean rate top five bonds (Mutual) = 5%
Winner: Bank (by a nose)

Top Mortgage by SVR - Stafford Railway
Mean true cost top five SVR mortgages over five years (Bank) = £45,121
Mean true cost top five SVR mortgages over five years (Mutual) = £42,915
Winner: Mutual

Top Mortgage by two year fix - Alliance & Leicester
Mean true cost top 5 fixed rate mortgages (Bank) = £42,912
Mean true cost top 5 fixed rate mortgages (Mutual) = £42,664
Winner: Mutual

moneysupermarket.com is a website where consumers can compare the cost of personal
finance products, save money and apply online. The website has more than 28 different
channels. Visit www.moneysupermarket.com for more information.

                                                - ENDS –

For further information, please contact:
Jeena Nadarajan / Charlotte Edgar
Lansons Communications
jeenan@lansons.com / charlottee@lansons.com
Tel: 020 7294 3629 / 3622

Stuart Glendinning,
Director at moneysupermarket.com
Tel: 01244 665 788

About www.moneysupermarket.com

*All calculations true as at 9 March 2006. Tables available on request.

www.moneysupermarket.com is a website where consumers can compare personal finance products,
save money and apply online. The website has 28 different channels including personal loans, credit
cards, mortgages, current accounts, savings accounts, motor insurance, home insurance, travel
insurance and stockbroking services.

Launched in December 1999, www.moneysupermarket.com is owned by moneysupermarket.com
Financial Group Ltd which also wholly owns Mortgage 2000 Financial Group Ltd, consisting of Encore, a
mortgage sourcing system for mortgage brokers and intermediaries; Mortgage 2000 Design & Packaging
Ltd - a third party mortgage administration company; Mortgage 2000 (M2) Mortgage Club Ltd - a sales
distribution arm for mortgage lenders to conduct business through.

Consumers using the www.moneysupermarket.com site have access to details of:

Over 7,000 mortgages
Over 300 credit cards
Over 400 personal loans
Over 1,100 savings accounts, including 255 cash ISAs, 130 children’s accounts and 300 offshore
Over 300 current accounts
Over 100 life insurance products, 100 critical illness policies, over 1230 private medical insurance policies
Over 1,200 travel insurance policies
Over 100 motor breakdown policies
Over 300 pet insurance policies
Over 100 share dealing accounts
Plus a free rate alert service which alerts subscribers by email of market-leading rates on most channels
including mortgages, credit cards and personal loans

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