Withdraw with the Woolwich

The society has come clean with its savers, writes Steve Lodge

Savers with more than pounds 100 in the Woolwich can now take money out of their accounts without fear of reducing their share windfall, due in autumn 1997.

The society said last week it will warn savers in advance when they need to top up their accounts again to maximise their windfall, expected to average pounds 800 in free shares.

Only those savers with a total of pounds 1,000 in qualifying accounts on 31 December, 1995 need worry about topping up their accounts again since only they will be entitled to anything more than the basic windfall.

All qualifying savers should still keep at least pounds 100 in their accounts to get this basic windfall, expected to be worth perhaps pounds 500 (although the actual figure has yet to be established).

The society's 500,000 borrowers will only get this basic windfall. Some 3.5 million savers are eligible for at least the basic windfall. To qualify for extra free shares you need to be a saver with pounds 1,000 as at the end of last year, and at least pounds 1,000 on a date early next year that the society will reveal in advance. You will also need to have been a "two-year saver", that is, to have been a member continuously for two years until a date yet to be announced but again likely to be next year. The actual amount of extra free shares will be determined by the lower of your two balances on 31 December, 1995 and the new date.

Savers with less than pounds 1,000 can, therefore, run down their balances to pounds 100 if they so wish. They should not need to worry about topping up their accounts.

The announcement offers a solution to a particular bugbear of savers waiting for windfalls who feel locked in to poor interest rates in the meantime. The Halifax has already said it will warn savers when they need to top up their accounts again. But other societies, such as Alliance & Leicester, are not telling savers what the deal will be, so discouraging them from touching their money.

The announcement does, however, still leave unanswered exactly how much each saver or borrower will get. This will become clearer early next year.

The Woolwich also said last week that where a member dies before the share handout the windfall will not be lost but will go the estate or second-named account holder on joint accounts. In addition, the society has already announced that savers with maturing Tax-Exempt Special Savings Accounts can put money into a Woolwich Personal Equity Plan without reducing windfall eligibility, so long as they keep back pounds 100.

These proposals may not be set in stone, however. The society might be bid for before it reaches the stock market, leading to new windfall proposals. A predator would be expected to offer more money, which might, for example, mean the extra windfall kicking in at a lower level.

Woolwich has produced two free leaflets giving details of the extra shares proposals and the treatment of dead members' windfalls. These can be obtained at branches. There is also a helpline on 0345 022 033.

Separately, Britannia building society has just sent out registration forms and information packs to 1.6 million of its customers for its previously announced Members Loyalty Bonus Scheme. It is an attempt to convince members that it pays for societies to remain mutuals rather than hand out bigger one-off windfalls.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all