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Subject: Secret Bradford & Bingley Poll to gauge members intentions to vote for conversion -or to retain mutuality

Storyline: Bradford & Bingley appear not to wish to release the results of the poll or say if they indicate enough members intend to vote for conversion. SOBS say: Why not? Members were asked for example if the way they intended to vote depended on the size of the windfall.

SOBS comment on B & B “secret” poll 1) B & B may have a Public Relations “hot potato” on their hands .Conducting secret polling hoping the story will not come out. When it does- refusing to publicise the result-possibly because it indicates that the mood of the members is such-( that if the vote was held tomorrow)- the society would not meet the criteria required for conversion. SOBS will relentlessly pursue this story “like a dog at a bone.” 2) Bob Goodall says “ I think it may be very significant that the results of the poll have not found their way into the press. 3) SOBS call on B & B to release the Poll results and the breakdown of the response from savers and borrowers because the story is now in the public domain- After all the society is still owned by its members, and they still have a right to know the latest information about their own society. It is the members who paid for this research! -not Christopher Rodrigues or his board of directors. 4) Bob Goodall says “If in doubt”, one can always ask a question -that is what journalists are doing: -asking B & B what the results of the poll are? Whether the other side answers it is up to them -but if they choose not to -perhaps that is an answer in itself. B & B steadfastly refuse to reveal the poll results

Notes to the Editor 1) If the pattern of the members vote on Stephen Majors carpetbagging resolution was repeated in the conversion vote this Summer the society would meet neither the percentage of savers or the percentage of borrowers required by law for a society to convert. Although the overall vote on the carpetbagging resolution was 62% in favour under Building Society law for a society to convert needs the support of 75% of savers on a 50% turnout as well as a majority of borrowers voting. 60% of Bradford & Bingley borrowers voting -voted against the carpetbagging resolution. Far below the the savers or the borrowers criteria required by law before conversion to a plc can occur. Hence the secret polling which we believe is intended to maximise the pro-conversion vote. 2) The members resolution which started this process was merely a snapshot of members opinion -not binding on the board. (Members resolutions need only a simple majority to pass.) 3) Some of our supporters are demanding the resignation of the board of directors -on the grounds that they have squandered members money by allowing this unnecessary vote when in fact they were elected as directors on a manifesto of supporting mutuality and they have clearly stated they believe that conversion will be to the detriment of members. Major’s carpetbagging resolution was not binding. All the directors had to do was to consider conversion -nothing more. If they believed -as they have said -that mutuality was clearly in the best interests of members then they should never have proceeded to an official vote on conversion this summer. a) By law directors are required to run a society in what they consider to be the best interests of members. They have clearly stated that this means retaining mutuality. b) (Additionally their mandate from members- when democratically elected to the board was to support mutuality -read their election addresses.) c) Looking at how savers and borrowers voted on the carpetbagging resolution should have told the directors that a successful conversion vote was unlikely. Another sound reason for not holding one.

Bob Goodall co-ordinator “Save Our Building Societies” campaign tel 01727 847 370 (24hrs)


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site updated 30 Dec 2000