Press Releases (2)
Sunday briefing 19.3.00
Subject: Bradford & Bingley Storyline: Is B& B concerned that members will reject conversion?
SOBS have discovered that Market Research is now underway to find the answer to this question. And possibly to help the Society to encourage more members to vote for conversion. Yesterday a member of Bradford & Bingley told me that he had just been telephoned by a market research company working on behalf of B & B The questions included the following: Regarding the Special General Meeting in the Summer of 2000 to vote on conversion: 1) Do you intend to vote? 2) Which way are you intending to vote? 3) Do you know how big the windfall is? is it shares/cash? Will the size of the windfall affect how you vote? If you received shares would you sell a) immediately? b) within a year? Do you know what the recommendation of the board is on how to vote? would your vote be affected by the boards recommendation? Do you think the board is in favour of conversion? Also What newspapers do you read? Sunday papers? Similarly radio or television stations? Monthly magazines? Do you read local papers?
Notes to the Editor The market researcher commented to my friend that many people were indicating that they would vote against conversion. 1) my contact is reluctant to speak directly to the media. 2) Q? Will the market research help target advertising in the lead up to the conversion vote? to encourage people to vote for demutualisation? 3) SOBS use 200 local papers to get its message to members of B & B. Most branches and agencies are covered by the circulation area of one of our ‘200’ papers. Please consider asking B & B for comment. I have some out of hours contact telephone numbers for their press team if you need them.
Bob Goodall co-ordinator “Save Our Building Societies” campaign tel 01727 847 370(24hrs)
Regarding Bradford & Bingley 16.3.00
Dear Journalist I have faxed you information from Bradford & Bingley to support a possible story. (I was first alerted to the following situation by another member) I have received the voting pack today but not the trustee account information. Although I am a member of Bradford & Bingley my correspondence seems to arrive many weeks after other members have received theirs. Storyline 1 Because a “pro-mutual” campaigner is standing members will only be able to vote for directors standing for re-election but not against them. Mr Crozier claims he failed to win a place on the board last year. In fact he didn’t stand. The vote last year was uncontested and as such members could vote against the directors. In his election address Mr Crozier praises the board and says that conversion looks very likely. So is he pro-mutual? By design or not he is helping the board of directors get themseves re-elected. Is this too esoteric? “Save Our Building Societies” says it regrets that members of the Bradford & Bingley will be unable to vote against directors standing for re-election in the forthcoming AGM and that the opportunity (in effect) for a mini-referendum on the recent behaviour of the entire board of directors of the society has been lost -all because of way the voting paper has been designed. 2) I have also faxed you the information about the appointment of ‘your own proxy’ to vote. Is it the position that if members abstain the chairman can use their votes if a certain box is not ticked? -I’m confused about this matter. Storyline 2 Trustee account holders will have to make a legal declaration before a solicitor or notary, we believe at their own expense to qualify for windfalls if conversion occurs.
Best wishes, Bob Goodall co-ordinator “Save Our Building Societies” campaign Tel 01727 847 370 (24hrs)