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Landslide for B&B to convert

Bradford & Bingley is the latest society to start to shed its mutual

status after members voted overwhelmingly in favour of converting to a

bank.

The conversion, endorsedby 94.5 per cent of savers and 89.5 per cent of

borrowers who voted, comes despite fears of lower savings rates and higher

mortgage rates under a bank.

But Yorkshire Building Society parked its promotional van outside the

event in a bid to attract disgruntled B&B members.

It is offering a new Mutual Mortgage at a rate 1 per cent below the B&B

variable rate for two years. the second-charge facility allows B&B members

to move all but £1,000 of their mortgage immediately, allowing them to

receive their windfalls.

At the SGM held at Sheffield Arena, chairman Lindsay Mackinlay told

members of the landslide victory in support of the board&#39s decision to

demutualise.

Despite a turn-round in attitude by the board, which now favours

demutualisation, the numbers of investing mem-bers in favour exceeded all

requirements, with 70 per cent voting to become a bank.

Society rules demand that three-quarters of savers voting must vote for

conversion, with a turnout of 50 per cent. The plans must be approved by a

simple majority of borrowers.

Members are expected to get windfalls of more than £700 in December,

when B&B is expected to float. Mackinlay told members it was a defining

moment for the society and thanked them.

Sobs co-ordinator Bob Goodall says: “The remaining mutual societies have

board directors who put the interests of members first rather than

self-interest. This is a hollow victory for B&B carpetbaggers. They have

chosen the road to oblivion.”

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