Press Release 48 4.1.99
Subject: Take-over of Birmingham Midshires Building Society by Halifax plc. It's not over yet! SOBS now have the £5,000 deposit required to hold a Second Special General Meeting (SGM) at Birmingham Midshires Building Society. SOBS will then present the results to the Building Societies Commission at the take-over confirmation hearing scheduled for 23.2.99. We will argue for a "Take-over with strings". For Halifax plc to only be allowed to take-over Midshires if it agrees to strict conditions.
Note to the Editor- Midshires have to set the date of our SGM. If they set it after the date of the confirmation hearing we will ask the Building Societies Commission to delay it's hearing until our meeting has been held so that Midshires members can have their full say. SOBS believe that if given the opportunity members will vote to protect Midshires branches and jobs and the interest rates offered to mortgage customers and savers. "Its one thing voting for a windfall which is seen as something for nothing but the same people will vote to protect staff who they may have got to know very well over the years." SOBS believe that if the Building Societies Commission attach conditions to the take-over, Halifax will withdraw their offer for Midshires. Halifax's agenda from the start has been to keep Midshires the same for 3 years, and then when the publicity had died down to slash and burn, and close former Midshires branches This was the strategy Halifax followed when it took over Leeds Building Society.
How the money was raised.
In addition to money from SOBS supporters I have borrowed the money against the expected selling price of a painting left to me by my late father (Sqn. Ldr.) Bill Goodall. Painting title "Ship entering the Thames estuary" by the marine artist Norman Wilkinson To be auctioned by Bonhams on 14.1.99. Expected to sell for between £2,800-£3,000.
Bob Goodall says "My late father would have approved of such an action. When away from the Glaxo Group head office where he worked as the Public Relations Manager my father was also a campaigner. When he stood for Parliament a number of times, he personally paid the required deposit.
Summary of the 7 resolutions SOBS want the entire membership of Midshires to be able to vote on.
1) Retain Mutuality at Midshires per se
In the event of a take-over (Resolutions 2-6):
2) Accept only a take-over bid equivalent to the full worth of Midshires.
3) Allow mortgage customers to transfer to another financial institution without penalty.
4) That mortgage customers should not pay extra interest rates to pay dividends for shareholders for 5 years.
5) Savers would not have their rates of interest reduced to pay dividends for shareholders for 5 years.
6) No compulsory redundancies from current Midshires staff and no loss of employment opportunities in communities currently served by Midshires, for 10 years.
7) If any of the above resolutions are passed they would be regarded as binding for 3 years from the date of the SGM at which they were passed. That they cannot be considered again at any SGM or AGM within 3 years of the date at which they were passed.
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
Coordinator "Save Our Building Societies" campaign