More than a million customers of the society are expected to share in a pounds 35m cash handout early in 1997. Many of the society's 300,000 mortgage borrowers can expect payouts of more than pounds 100, but most savers could get less than pounds 20.
The announcement is the latest twist in the windfall fever that has swept building societies. The Britannia says it does not want to become a bank - which would mean a one-off share handout worth perhaps pounds 630 to each customer - and says its annual dividends are a "modernised approach to mutuality", which should still enable it to offer competitive mortgage and savings rates.
Under the complicated scheme savers and borrowers will earn points each year. A point will be awarded for each pound borrowers pay on their mortgage every month, but only one point for every pounds 100 of savings, with additional points for long-standing customers and for holding other products. At the end of each year Britannia will declare a value per point - starting at around 25p - depending on the society's profits.
Savers and borrowers who joined the society this year will not qualify for next year's payout. To qualify, savers need pounds 500 in their accounts, while mortgage borrowers need to be paying pounds 50 a month.
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