Nationwide carpetbagger Andrew Muir is tabling a new conversion resolution after admitting it would be “almost impossible” to force the society to demutualise under existing rules.
Although he has boasted of having three times more backers than the 500 needed to put forward a resolution, Muir confesses he has had to start his campaign again as his old resolution was destined to fail.
Following a close demutualisation vote in 1997, Nationwide imposed a clause stating new members had to sign windfalls over to charity if the society converted. This is thought to cover over a fifth of the membership.
Muir's new resolution tries to reinstate the windfall rights of these members, claiming the clause is vulnerable to a legal challenge.
But the society dismisses Muir's claims, saying the windfall signaway was designed to be bullet-proof to ensure continuation of high service standards.
Muir needs to gather 500 backers before April 4 to put the resolution to the society's AGM in July.
A Nationwide spokesman says: “At the time the measure was introduced, customer service was being interrupted by carpetbaggers. For the signaway to be effective, it had to be irrevocable and this remains the case.”