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.

WINDFALLS ON THE WAY

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

MPs call for Equitable Life policyholders to be paid £2.8bn owed by government

Hundreds of thousands of people's policies were hit when the mutual insurer almost collapsed at the turn of the century

The elderly woman's family discovered the mistake

DWP criticised after it left a pensioner £26,000 worse off

The Department for Work and Pensions has been slammed after a series of cock-ups left an elderly pensioner £26,000 worse off.

The FCA has today issued a consultation paper on its plans to tighten up consumer credit rules to give consumers greater protection on guarantor loans and in other areas

Payday loan companies must publish their rates, says CMA

A 20-month investigation concluded that a lack of price competition between lenders has led to higher costs for borrowers

Vulnerable consumers are defined as those with poor literacy skills, those who have caring responsibilities, people with disabilities, dementia or the old

Financial companies are not meeting the needs of vulnerable consumers, says City Watchdog

The Financial Conduct Authority said the industry needs to start thinking about solutions to these challenges

The FTSE 100 is inching closer to its record high but can it maintain these levels?

In 1999 stock markets quickly tumbled, losing many a fortune in the process

Tax-free savings: Freedom dawns for the junior savers caught in low-income accounts

The parents of six million children stuck with low-interest saving accounts worth more than £5bn will be able to move the cash from this April. But what are their options? Samantha Downes reports

How much lower will mortgage rates go?

Another day, another cut. As lenders compete to offer the cheapest deals, Simon Read asks if borrowers should jump in now or wait for further falls

Are bills ruining your family life? Try the lover's guide to coping with debt...

If you're in the red and can't find a way out, it's time to get some help. Neasa MacErlean hears that relationships will suffer unless you are open with your partner, but there are organisations that will put you on the right track and get you talking

How to complain: From retailers to energy suppliers, it's easier than you think

When companies let us down, millions of us just take it on the chin. Simon Read shows how to make your voice heard

The dark side of debt: Descending into financial desperation is not due to self-indulgence

Three stories reveal financial desperation that was born of other, serious concerns, from being a victim of sexual assault, to losing a family member
The Financial Conduct Authority took the unprecedented step of making Wonga cancel the outstanding debt of 330,000 borrowers and scrap the fees and charges of 45,000 more

Wonga escapes prosecution after sending fake threatening letters to struggling borrowers

The City of London Police’s investigation into Wonga was scrapped because 'there is not sufficient evidence to progress a criminal investigation'

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower