Press Release 23
Monday 20th July 1998
Storyline l: "SOBS appeals to the Countryside vote' to vote against the demutualisation of Nationwide."
SOBS also appeals to members living in deprived regions to do likewise.
Storyline 2: "Advice from SOBS for people voting 'at the last minute."
Background: Tomorrow at llam Tuesday 21st July 1998 the Nationwide building society ballot closes. Members may still vote at the AGM on the resolutions (but not for the Directors).
'Countryside vote': Tim Poil, General Secretary of the Nationwide Staff Union believes that Nationwide branches in small towns and villages will close if it is forced to become a bank.
Further to this:
Vincent Cable MP Spokesperson for the "Save 0ur Building Societies" campaign and the liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson says "The driving force of banks is to make profits for it's shareholders. The closure of less profitable branches is part of this culture."
"Towns and villages, as well as deprived Regions already suffer from a serious lack of financial institutions where people can invest their money and borrow to buy homes".
"It is not always possible or indeed practical to travel long distances to the branches in larger towns and cities."
"If Nationwide converts then many of it's less profitable branches in small towns and villages are likely to close". "I would urge all those who might be affected by this to join other concerned members and vote against demutualisation."
Media contact details over the weekend:
Vincent Cable MP home tel: 0181 892 32129 & mobile 0958 476 371
Note to the Editor
In addition to members in the countryside and those in small towns and villages. Why other groups should vote against demutualisation:
Everyone with a mortgage with Nationwide (1 million in total) will pay hundreds of pounds a year more on their mortgages if Nationwide becomes a bank because interest rates will rise. On a £60,000 mortgage it could be up to £485 extra per year.
Interest rates for savers will fall with PLC status. The 200,000 members who joined after 3.11.97 who will not get windfalls should without question vote against demutualisation. They should join savers generally in voting against conversion because both groups stand to lose money because of the resulting lower interest rates on their savings if Nationwide becomes a bank.
Tim Poil of the Nationwide Staff Union believes that there will be substantial job losses if Nationwide becomes a bank.
We should think of the future and of the needs of our children & their children.
People both today and in the next millennium will all pay more for home-providing mortgages in a financial services market without building societies. If Nationwide votes to convert the whole building society movement may collapse.
Mortgages will be available from a few banks. They will charge higher rates of interest because they have to make profits for shareholders. Additionally without competition from building societies these interest rates may be even higher still!
How Nationwide members can still vote:
1)'The best bet' is to visit any Nationwide branch today (Monday
20th July 1998). Members will be able to vote, be issued with
new ballot papers and if they want to change their vote they can;
It is the last vote that counts. Reasonable means of identification
will be needed.
Branches are open from 9am and close 5pm.
2)If members wish to vote by post SOBS recommend that they should use a plain envelope with a lst class stamp. Not the pre-paid envelope; even if a lst class stamp is added the bar code will send it 2nd class. Crossing out the bar code and other encoding may not be enough to stop it operating.
The Nationwide help line is 0800 30 20 15
How people can help the SOBS campaign: Anyone wishing to help should write to Bob Goodall at "Save Our Building Societies", 8 Belmont Court, Belmont Hill, St Albans, Herts AL1 RB or telephone him on 01727 847370 (24hrs)
Press Release by Bob Goodall Tel 01727 84737
Co-ordinator "Save Our Building Societies" campaign