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West Brom takes steps to reassure savers

West Bromwich Building Society has rubbished reports that it is on teetering on the brink of collapse by claiming it is “well capitalised” and “able” to meet all financial obligations.

Responding to the recent speculation over the building society’s future, West Brom has said that the board believes that the society is well capitalised, able to meet all its obligations in full and has a long-term future as an independent mutual society.

Media reports this weekend said the Financial Services Authority is secretly seeking bidders to rescue West Bromwich after so-called “stress tests”.

However, a statement released by the firm says: “In common with other financial institutions, West Brom has been working closely with the FSA in relation to its funding and capital position, including the current stress-testing exercise being conducted on a number of the larger Building Societies.

“The society has not received any indications from the FSA in relation to the results of this exercise, which commenced only recently. Furthermore, West Brom has no knowledge of the FSA holding merger discussions relating to the society.”

The statement further reiterated the society’s financial position by outlining a series of past key strategic moves. It says: “Over 12 months ago, West Brom exited commercial lending and is no longer active in new buy-to-let or non-prime residential lending. The society has not acquired mortgage books from other lenders since 2006.”

West Brom is due to announce its results for the year to 31 March 2009 in mid June.

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