Charity to share Abbey's 110m pounds unclaimed kitty

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ABBEY NATIONAL is expected to announce today that it will make a donation to charity as part of its plan to dispose of about pounds 110m worth of shares still unclaimed from its 1989 flotation.

The shares were allotted free to savers and investors from the former building society. The Abbey is now free to dispose of the shares and can sell or cancel them.

Investors will still be able to claim amounts equivalent to the proceeds for several years. Full details of the compensation payments and time limits will be announced today.

Abbey has already written to the 400,000 owners of the shares but with little success. It is expected to mount another publicity campaign in an affort to trace shareholders who seem oblivious to the windfall, worth pounds 271 at yesterday's prices, that awaits them.

Today's announcement will be the final chapter in perhaps the most bizarre and dramatic share flotation seen in Britain. The Abbey was the first building society to become a publicly quoted company, but the issue was marred by the destruction of batches of certificates on their way to investors.