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Parliamentary troups urge B&B members to vote for mutuality

Two influential Parliamentary groups are lending their support to

campaigners aiming to keep Bradford & Bingley a mutual.

The all-party Building Societies Group and Insurance & Financial Services

Group say members interests will be damaged if the society converts to a

publicly owned company.

The two groups represent more than 170 MPs from all political parties.

The groups issued a statement urging B&B members to pass up the

opportunity of collecting a windfall and vote to keep the society mutual.

The statement says mutuals consistently offer cheaper loans and pay higher

rates of interest on savings accounts than plc rivals. Members will vote at

a special general meeting on July 17.

In order to convert, 50 per cent of savers have to cast a ballot and 75

per cent must vote in favour of conversion.

A simple majority of borrowers must in favour of demutualisation.

Building Societies Group chairman Andrew Love says: “The case for

mutuality is overwhelming when one looks at the financial cost to borrowers

of conversion.”

Insurance & Financial Services Group chairman John Greenway says: “Next

month, Bradford & Bingley members will have the choice of whether they take

the windfall now in order to pay later. It is borrowers who will pay the

price of conversion.”

Bradford and Bingley spokeswoman Alis Marjoribanks says: “Given that Love

is the head of the Building Societies Committee, we would expect him to

support mutuality but we put our members to a vote and they decided to

proceed with the debate.”

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