Letter: Spread the windfall

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The Independent Culture
Spread the windfall

Sir: Terese Hunter ("Gimme, gimme, gimme", 17 July) outlines the full scope of the threat posed by demutualisation. Whilst Save Our Building Societies is a single-issue campaign fighting for mutual building societies, the concept of mutuality clearly benefits the community in many other areas.

As for the targets Terese highlights, I'm sure the founding principle behind these organisations, using John Lewis as an example, was to empower and reward successive generations of say, shopworkers, not just those working for the organisation at a particular time.

Such organisations have been built up by generations of workers or members, so why should only a relative few around today benefit, including people who have only recently been employed or become members?

An entitlement to windfalls should be available to all who have ever contributed to the growth of an organisation. And why not descendants of such people? That would kill demutualisation.

Make the windfall carrot smaller by spreading the net of those entitled to one as wide as possible and the incentive to go after a windfall would be considerably reduced. This might be but one way to make the disease of carpet-bagging go away.


Co-ordinator, Save Our Building Societies

St Albans, Hertfordshire