Conversion of Woolwich wins 95% backing
Wednesday 12 February 1997
At least 1,000 Woolwich savers and borrowers attended the meeting, called to decide on the society's plans, which will lead to some 2.6 million members receiving free shares worth at least pounds 850 each. The number of votes in favour of conversion amounted to 95 per cent. Although the ballot had already been decided by the vast number of proxy votes cast in favour of the Woolwich plan, many in the audience applauded speeches against the society's pounds 3bn flotation.
John Stewart, group chief executive at Woolwich, said: "The three options we considered were remaining a building society and possibly merging with another; selling the Woolwich to an existing company; and converting to a public limited company." He claimed that changes in the financial services industry meant that Woolwich needed the flexibility of access to equity capital markets in order to expand. Selling the society would have imperilled its culture, values and strategic objectives.
Despite his argument, Thomas Lines, an investing member presently living in Brussels, said that research showed mutuals, whether building societies or insurers, offered better deals for their members than proprietory companies.
"Why can a mutual keep its borrowing rates low and its saving rates high?" Mr Lines asked.
"It is because it does not have to pay dividends to shareholders . It is in savers and borrowers' long-term interests that we remain a mutual."
He was backed by several speakers who also spoke out against Woolwich's pounds 50m conversion costs.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...