pounds 35m from Britannia in mutual benefits

Britannia Building Society yesterday underscored its determination to remain a mutual society by announcing a pounds 35m distribution to its members under the Members' Loyalty Bonus Scheme, which was launched a year ago.

John Heaps, chief executive, said: "Even allowing for the costs to cover the Loyalty Bonus Scheme, special discount and associated costs, we have still managed to maintain our solvency ratio and the investment programme necessary to improve our service to members.

"This is proof, if any were needed, that the Members' Loyalty Bonus Scheme is sustainable and that Britannia has a sound future as a thriving, modern mutual."

Members earn points depending on the length and depth of their membership. This year, the declared value of each point is 22p. Around 780,000 people qualify for payments of up to pounds 50; 217,000 qualify for up to pounds 100; and 43,000 qualify for more. The highest payment is pounds 500, and the average is pounds 35.

The payouts accompanied Britannia's results for 1996, showing that a drop in interest receivable from pounds 815m to pounds 753m was almost cancelled out by a reduction in interest payable from pounds 622m to pounds 563m.