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Conversion supporters are &#39turkeys voting for Xmas&#39

Bradford & Bingley borrowers will be like “turkeys voting for Christmas”

if they back conversion, according to rival building societies.

Commentators now believe the B&B windfalls of 250 shares will be worth

around a third less than the £800 originally estimated because

stockmarket conditions for financial companies are affecting the valuation.

Other building societies are claiming that borrowers will lose out within

a few years as lending rates will inevitably increase, follow-ing the

pattern set by other demutualised societies.

Yorkshire Building Society communications manager David Holmes says: “It

is not clear that borrowers will get more than two years&#39 benefit at a

better rate. Are votersprepared to take the money as a one-off? It would be

like turkeys voting for Christmas.”

The claim will boost mutual campaigners hit by news that Bob Goodall, the

man who has led the fightto keep Bradford & Bingley mutual, is bowing out

ofthe battle.

Goodall, who co-ordinates the Save our Building Societies campaign from

his St Albans council flat has decided to take a back seat in the face of

mounting debts resulting from the campaign.

Goodall says: “I have run out of energy, motivation, and patience.

Parliamentary legislation is the only way to resolve this issue.

“However it is clear that the Labour Government, which we elected amid

great hope and optimism, has not the slightest intention of protecting


“My final word for members of B&B is to suggest to you in all honesty that

the best decision for savers and borrowers is to vote for your society to

remain mutual.”


FSA conjures up stakeholder seminar

The FSA has written to pension specialists at leading life offices askingthem to attend a seminar to discuss stakeholder pension decision trees.Ironically, the seminar to discuss the issue which has baffled much of theindustry is to be held at the headquarters of the Magic Circle in London onJune 16.Life offices say they are waiting to […]

With-profits stand the test of time

They say that some things improvewith age like good wine andcigars.With-profits bonds also exhibit suchfine qualities.In this era of Isas, derivatives contracts and other new products thathave escaped proper public understanding, with-profits bonds retain a highdegree of public confidence and may be an ideal investment vehicle formany.According to ABI statistics, the IFA with-profits bond market […]

Nuki&#39s Eye

There is a nice little earner coming your way, Mr IFA, and it has not ashred of insurance or investment tied up with it. Better still, 99.9 percent of your clients will thank you – perhaps even hug you – for sellingit.The product is called Intelligent Finance (IF for short) and comes fromthe boring old […]

Credit where it&#39s due

Traditional mortgage lenders seem slow on the uptake when it comes torecognising the last days of the traditional worker.A great number of people no longer have a job for life. Five millionpeople in the UK are self-employed or on short-term contracts.Most traditional lenders continue to be governed by a rigid credit-ratingsystem which disqualifies borrowers if […]

Value remains within European equities

By Rob Burnett, Neptune European Opportunities Fund

In recent months, investors have become more pessimistic about both the European and the US economic outlook and yet stockmarkets have pushed on to new highs. Some would argue that this is a worrying divergence. We would take the opposite view. This appears to be classic bull market behaviour. A wall of worry has been rebuilt, and stockmarket resilience should be taken as a sign of strength. The market is discounting an improving economic outlook ahead, particularly in the south of Europe.


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