WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
building soci′ety, [Brit.]
  1. Banking, British TermsSee  savings and loan association. 
  • 1840–50

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
building society n
  1. a cooperative organization that accepts deposits of money from savers and uses them to make loans, secured by mortgages, to house buyers. Since 1986 they have been empowered to offer banking services
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
savings and loan associa′tion, 
  • Businessa cooperative savings institution, chartered and regulated by a state or the federal government, that receives deposits in exchange for shares of ownership and invests its funds chiefly in loans secured by first mortgages on homes. Also called  building and loan association, cooperative bank;
     [Brit.,] building society. 

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