The UK’s third biggest building society has announced plans to merge with a smaller rival in the latest in a series of tie-ups in the sector.

Coventry Building Society has agreed a deal with the Stroud & Swindon Building Society, the UK’s 11th largest mutual, that will create a combined group with around 1.5 million members and assets of around £21.1 billion.

The enlarged business will have a combined network of 91 branches and agencies across the Midlands and South West.

The firms said no branches or agencies will be closed as a result of the merger and all Stroud & Swindon staff from these parts of the business will be retained.

But a number of jobs at Stroud & Swindon’s head office could be at risk as operations will be transferred to Coventry over an 18-month period.