Law change will help joint holders of society accounts

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The Government is to plug a legal loophole that stops hundreds of widowed people from benefiting from building society takeovers such as that of Cheltenham & Gloucester by Lloyds Bank. It plans to announce a change in the law to allow the second-n amed holders of society accounts to benefit from takeovers if their partners die.

The proposals could be rushed through in time for the special general meeting of C&G members on 31 March. But a C&G spokeswomen said: "All our computer systems are set up to accommodate the law as it stands. We do not even have the facility to track second-named people on joint accounts." A government statement on building society legislation was expected in the next few weeks, she said.

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