Personal Finance: Loose Change
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Saturday 11 December 1999
Although he is barred from having another go until 2001, Mr Hardern is trying to persuade Britannia members that the society should demutualise - and to show the world how strongly they feel. He wants them to agree to change the name of the society, and he proposes two alternatives: "Britannia Members Want Windfalls, Free Shares And Conversion To A PLC From A Building Society", or "Britannia Members Should Not Be Forced To Sign Away Windfall Rights In Order To Become Or Remain Members Of Their Building Society".
The Britannia is resolutely refusing to see the funny side. "Earlier this year our members didn't seem to be amused by Mr Hardern and his antics," a spokesman sniffed. "Defending the demutualisation vote cost our members around pounds 3m, and I don't think they got the joke. I don't expect he will get enough support."
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