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We will be a sustainable, thriving and relevant building society that is committed to what it does, has straightforward, great value products and delivers long-term value for members and the community.
Our Vision
Penrith Building Society
Penrith Building Society Vision for the Future

About Us

What would you like to know?

  • Our Values
  • Our History
  • Meet the Board
  • Why choose us?
Our SMART Values...

Straightforward- Whether opening a savings account, or arranging a mortgage, we want to be easy to transact with. We will always look for ways to make things more straightforward for our members.

Mutual- Our members are our reason for being and are at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to enhance the benefits of mutuality and will never lose sight of the fact that we exist for our members.

Aspiring- We will be there to help both our members and our staff achieve what they aspire to, for themselves and their family during their lifetime.

Relevant- We will always look for ways to ensure we stay relevant. We will continue to respond to members' needs through innovative, appropriate product design and through technical initiatives, whilst remaining true to our roots.

Trustworthy- We will be open, honest and fair in our dealings with our members, so they can have the utmost trust and confidence in us as an organisation. We will not compromise our standards and will ensure all our dealings consider our members and ensure longevity for the Society.

The History of the Society

Penrith is a small historic and beautiful town to the north-east of the Lake District.  The Society was founded in 1877 as a mutual building society to help local people look after their money and buy their own homes.

Our original seal reads "Every Man His Own Landlord", and we still strive to uphold that principle by providing savings accounts and mortgages for home buyers.

These days Penrith Building Society is still attached to its traditional roots as a non-profit organisation to benefit our members and to aim to provide simple good quality products.

Meet the Board
Rob Cairns, Non-executive Director and Chairman
Rob Cairns, Non-executive Director and Chairman

Rob joined the Board in May 2013 having retired from Furness Building Society where he was Chief Executive for 14 years. Prior to this, he was the Deputy Chief Executive at Cumberland Building Society. He is a graduate of the University of Sussex, holding a degree in psychology. Following his retirement he has remained actively involved in the Cumbrian business community. As well as being a Deputy Lieutenant of Cumbria, he is a sports fan, particularly when it comes to football and cricket and is presently Secretary of Cumberland County Cricket Club. He has two grown-up daughters and a number of grandchildren.


Tim Bowen, Chief Executive

Tim was born in Penzance and has spent the majority of his career, before joining the Society, in various leadership roles within the banking industry. Tim joined the Society initially in October 2016 as Retail & Operations Director and became a member of the Board of Directors in April 2017. He and his partner live in the North Pennines with their baby daughter and their Westie dog. Tim enjoys playing golf in his spare time. He also has a passion for travelling and sport, in particular rugby union.


Elspeth James, Finance Director
Elspeth James, Finance Director

Elspeth was born in Carlisle and studied at Edinburgh University where she qualified with a mathematics and statistics degree. Elspeth then gained over 17 years’ accounting experience with KPMG and Johnston Carmichael where she worked with retail banking clients and other building societies both in the UK and Australia. Elspeth became the finance director of Penrith Building Society at the start of 2013. She and her partner live in Penrith with their baby daughter and two Airedale terriers. In her spare time Elspeth enjoys running and pilates.

Alan Waterfield, Non-executive Director and senior independent director
Alan Waterfield, Non-executive Director and senior independent director

Alan was educated at Dulwich College and the University of Sussex and has a degree in economics. He qualified as an accountant in 1996 whilst working for Andersen Consulting. He enjoys working in smaller organisations and has held several finance director roles, primarily in telecoms and technology businesses over recent years. He moved to Cumbria with his wife, who was from Penrith and two children following a number of years in the London area.  He became a director of Penrith Building Society in 2010 and was appointed to the position of senior independent director in 2013. He loves sport including cycling, hockey , rugby and cricket.

Janice Lincoln, Non-Executive Director and chair of Audit and Compliance Committee
Janice Lincoln, Non-Executive Director and chair of Audit and Compliance Committee

Janice was born in Darlington and spent all of her 38 year career at Darlington Building Society becoming Finance Director in 2010. Having worked in retail banking all of her life she has a vast knowledge of all aspects of Building Societies with financial and strategic focus. Having retired in 2015 she concentrates on her passion for gardening and travelling the world.  She is also a Trustee and Chair of Finance & Strategy for Darlington Mind, ensuring she gives something back to the community that has served her well during her life.


William Lindsay, Non-executive Director
William Lindsay, Non-executive Director

Will joined the Board in 2015 having had a long and successful career in banking. He was appointed to the position of Senior Independent Director in 2016 and is the Society’s Conduct Risk Champion. His knowledge extends across all aspects of retail banking, including private and business banking. Before retiring from Clydesdale Bank he was Regional Director for London and South region and on his way south spent seven years in Cumbria as Regional Manager. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland. He enjoys all sports and spending time with his family.

Richard Vecqueray, Non-executive Director

Rich moved to Penrith after graduating in 1995 from Bristol University and has called it home ever since, despite brief spells away back in Bristol and New Zealand. He began his career as a farm vet with Rowcliffe House Vets in Crown Square and has gone on to set up his own local business providing insight and overseeing the health, welfare and productivity of animals that supply our milk, eggs, beef, lamb, pork and chicken. Through the growth of his business Rich has developed a keen interest in business in general and completed an MBA with London Business School in 2017.

Penrith Building Society helped Rich, Nicky and their five children develop their first home in Arthur Street, Penrith and more recently supported their renovation of an old farm house near Rosgill where they now live. Rich loves spending time with his family and is also a keen fell runner. 

Richard Drinkwater. Non-executive Director

Richard joined the Board in July 2017. He is a Director of Sports Booker Limited and the Aqua Parks Group Limited. Prior to this Richard spent 17 years with the Royal Sun Alliance Insurance Group as Director of Marketing for the Worldwide Group and, up until the merger, worked for the Sun Alliance Group in the Life, Pensions and Investment business. Richard has an MBA in Marketing & Finance from Sussex University. He is a keen runner and an avid supporter of rugby.

Why Choose Penrith Building Society

As a mutual building society we are a membership based 'not-for-profit' organisation.

We work with a personal approach and try to make customers feel comfortable borrowing and saving with us.

Our staff are caring and efficient and will listen to all of our members' needs.

We aim to provide simple good quality products.

We offer attractive rates on both our savings accounts and mortgages.