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Regulator urged to end speculation by revealing if society has problems

Dudley Building Society has urged the FSA to set the record straight about the financial strength of societies following speculation over the future of West Bromwich.

Last week, press reports suggested that the FSA was secretly talking to potential “white knights” in the building society sector that could be called on to take over West Bromwich. But West Brom denied any knowledge of such discussions and reassured members it is well capitalised and able to meet all financial obligations. The FSA would not comment .

But Dudley chief executive Geoff Caves, speaking at the BSA conference on Thursday, warned there needed to be clarity on any sector difficulties to end further public mistrust of building societ- ies in the wake of the Dunfermline problems.

He said: “It is all a matter of confidence and what does not help is this drift of uncertainty over building societies. There was press speculation about a building society recently, the FSA are not commenting on it, the chief executive is saying, we are fantastic, we are OK. That could undermine building societies if they are, in the end, merged into someone else.

“I would much prefer from the FSA that if the parrot is dead, then please tell us that the parrot is dead.”

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