What's the story? More windfall glory

Free share update: a regular guide to the state of the handouts

The windfall story is far from over. Speculation continues about the future of the Nationwide building society and in particular whether it might be taken over, which could well yield payouts of pounds 1,500 or more a head. Meanwhile, as our table shows, four more windfalls will be paid in the coming months.

It is no longer possible to open a new account with Nationwide (unless you are already a customer). The society closed its doors after a stampede of account openings in recent weeks, although it insists this should not be interpreted as an indication that it is about to announce a windfall. It says it plans to reopen to new customers in four to six weeks when it has cleared the backlog, and accounts opened at that time will still make savers members of the society and therefore potentially in line for any windfall subsequently announced.

Of course, as those who have received or are in line for a building society windfall now know, spotting the winning societies is not the whole story: there are also administrative hurdles to overcome to get the loot. Our table, which we will update in coming issues, is aimed at giving an at- a-glance view of the progress of each windfall and any action required.

Many of the demutualising societies and insurers have taken a long time to produce the promised payouts and have compounded frustrations with confusing documentation and other pitfalls. Take, for example, the serious gripe of savers that they have felt trapped in poor-paying accounts while waiting for their windfalls. With all three building societies in the table it should now be possible to withdraw savings without putting windfalls at risk - with the important caveat that savers still keep a qualifying account open. However, savers who do want to shift their money before they get their windfall - whether within the same society or elsewhere - might be best advised to get a personal letter from the converting society confirming that their eligibility will not change. Reports suggest significant numbers of savers have been advised verbally by branch staff that they can switch accounts within a society with impunity, only then to find they have excluded themselves from a payout. Getting "re-accepted" for a windfall is far from easy - the Building Societies Ombudsman deems most complaints to be out of his jurisdiction, for example - and so having advice in writing can only help.

Offers to sell shares for free by societies should also be weighed carefully. Windfall shares are coming to the stock market at higher-than-expected prices - the latest predictions from IG Index, a firm of City bookmakers, are that Woolwich shares will start trading on the market next week at 310p, giving people due even the minimum handout a windfall worth nearly pounds 1,400. But savers tempted to cash in their chips through free dealing offers should first ask themselves what they otherwise plan to do with the money. If selling to spend or pay off debts then fine, but if all you plan to do with the proceeds is have the money sitting in a savings account then, over the longer term, you might well be better off sticking with the shares.

Unless, perhaps, you use the cash to take a stake in the next society on the block.


Latest news and action required

Woolwich: Windfall due next Monday. Tomorrow is deadline for signing up to sell shares for free through Woolwich; and also deadline for getting share certificate in time for stock market listing. If you want a certificate, return form asap. Any queries, call 0345 022033.

Bristol & West: Qualifying savers and borrowers should have received registration forms for their windfalls last week. Cash windfalls will go out between 11 and 25 August; share windfalls on 28 July (but certificates only posted 4 August ). If you want a certificate or to sell shares for free through B&W, return form by 21 July. Any queries, call 0800 886633.

Northern Rock: Free shares - 500 a head, worth perhaps pounds 1,500 - due to be handed out on 1 October. No action required. Any queries: 0345 448866.

Scottish Amicable: Policyholders last week voted in favour of the insurer being taken over by Prudential. Cash windfalls averaging pounds 550 (minimum pounds 250) due in October, with a further pounds 900 a head of bonuses to be added to the value of policies. No action required. Any queries: 0345 888555.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Logos for the 'Big Six'; energy companies (top row from left) British Gas, EDF, RWE npower, (bottom row from left) SSE, E.ON and ScottishPower

Winter heating underpayment brings summer pain

One reader’s monthly direct debit charge has been increased by 62 per cent

Almost 15,000 people died last winter through living in cold homes that they couldn’t afford to heat

Social tenants locked into energy tariff for 40 years

Many Londoners who live in social housing estates are not allowed to switch because their landlord has ‘locked’ them in to buying from one supplier

Will your credit card rewards be scrapped following new EU rules on charges?

Providers are unhappy with new EU rules - but ultimately it is customers who will have to foot the bill
There remain more than a million unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth collectively around £48m

Have you won £1m in the May Premium Bonds draw?

More than £60m was paid out to more than 2 million prizewinners this month

The 0 per cent introductory deals that credit cards offer are one of the most odious tricks

Beware credit card firms’ odious tricks

Why can’t we just have open and honest charges, without all the cross-subsiding?

The pound’s recent strength against the euro could be hit by economic uncertainty under a new government

How planning can make your travel cash go further

With the pound at a high against the euro, it pays to buy now before uncertainty post-election

Put the phone down on the coldcallers who see pension liberation as an opportunity to liberate your pension from you

Pension freedoms: How to deal with cold calls from scammers

Sean O'Grady offers advice on keeping your money safe
Switching to a better bank account is much easier than it used to be

More people are switching current accounts – but what do the figures mean?

Experts disagree about the 7% increase over the past year

The chance of getting what appears to be free money can be hugely attractive, especially to first-time buyers who can be fooled into thinking it’s extra cash to buy the essential new items they need for their dream home.

Beware the boom in cashback mortgage deals

Too many mortgages are being sold with misleading gimmicks

The firm’s revenues slumped by a third to £217 million in a disastrous 2014

Wonga results could get even worse this year, chief admits

The firm’s revenues slumped by a third to £217 million in 2014

The cost of a buildings policy has dropped by 10.1 per cent over the year, with the cost of a contents policy falling by 8.2 per cent

Simon Read: Mild winter cuts the cost of home insurance

The average quote for a buildings and contents policy has fallen by 3.6 per cent

Don't count your retirement money yet: employers will stop receiving a pension rebate next year and their staff may lose out

Defined-benefit pension schemes: Rebate change in 2016 may leave you out of pocket

Employees in defined-benefit schemes are held up as the lucky ones, but the state pension scheme will be overhauled in April 2016
Labour will raise the national minimum wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019 (EPA)

Barclays new Blue Rewards hands cash to customers. What’s the catch?

Joining Barclays Blue Rewards costs £3 a month but then lets customers in for handouts of up to £15 a month

New research reveals that despite the recovering economy, four out of five low-income households have seen no sign of their financial situation improving

Hard-up families could be eligible for financial help

A charity is urging anyone struggling financially to see if they could get help from the state

When is the best time to buy foreign currency?

Video: With an election looming, a hung parliament could hit sterling

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Guru Careers: Management Accountant

    £27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

    Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

    £40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'