A&L faces pounds 100m withdrawal

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The ranks of angry customers who are against the conversion of Alliance & Leicester building society into a bank are swelling. More than 1,200 customers have verbally pledged to withdraw in excess of pounds 100m if the society wins the planned vote on conversion.

Patrick Mountain, the investor in Somerset who founded the Alliance & Leicester Action Group, said yesterday: "This is a real landmark. Having only recently said we have pounds 50m pledged for withdrawal, it's taken under a week to reach the pounds 100m mark."

Alliance & Leicester has dismissed the protest, likening the amount of funds that may be withdrawn to a drop in the ocean compared with pounds 23.4bn of assets. However, Mr Mountain said that asset figure was not the full story.

"Whether it likes it or not, it will have grave liquidity problems once our members act."