FSLFs were still in existence at the turn of the century.
A further difficulty measuring the activities of FSLFs is the fact that it was possible for any society registered as a Friendly Society to have a separate loan fund.
Unlike LFSs, FSLFs were financial mutuals and a person was required to become a member and to either borrow or save.
Loan limits for FSLFs were set at [pounds sterling]50 by law; this was a much higher ceiling than the [pounds sterling]10 limit on pawnbroking and LFSs registered with the LFB.
The incentive structure of FSLFs also differed from LFSs registered with the LFB mainly because in FSLFs borrowers were members.
(38) FSLFs may in fact have been better placed to overcome information asymmetries faced by JSBs in urban areas.
FSLFs were usually short lived, and it seems that they conformed to the Friendly Society tradition of short-term dissolving societies.
This is a key distinction between the constitution of LFSs and FSLFs. If a LFS wished to dissolve it had to give the LFB three months' notice, then it had to give the users of the service ten days' notice.
(42) Here a different incentive structure for members of FSLFs and LFSs can clearly be seen.
However, as with FSLFs, Irish Building Societies received little interest from the Registrar and thus it is difficult to get a true reflection of Building Society activity in Ireland in the early nineteenth century.
In these societies funds were raised from a set number of members to build or purchase housing for the respective members, and when all loans, amortized over fixed terms, were repaid assets were distributed amongst members and the society was dissolved; these operated in a similar fashion to FSLFs. Later innovations led to societies borrowing from non-members (depositors and bank overdrafts) to enable the society to begin lending immediately before member subscriptions had accumulated.
To conclude, this paper gave an overview of the history of FSLFs and Building Societies in nineteenth-century Ireland.