Companies  

Gov’t changes must be brought in for B&B

Speaking in the run-up to the sixth anniversary of the decision by former prime minister Gordon Brown to nationalise the bank, the chairman of the Bradford & Bingley Action Group called on politicians to help make better reparations to the 1m shareholders and ­bondholders who lost their money when Bradford & Bingley collapsed.

Mr Blundell said: “There is no doubt that unless there are changes by the government to the current conditions, there will be a substantial surplus when B&B is finally wound down, which will pass to the Treasury — not the B&B shareholders — and is an outrageous outcome unless action is taken by the ­coalition.”

The BBAG has persuaded representatives from the major political parties, including George Galloway, MP for Bradford West and Respect Party leader, to speak at a public meeting in Bradford on 27 September.

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The date marks the sixth anniversary of Mr Brown’s decision to nationalise Bradford & Bingley (B&B), the former building society which demutualised in 2000. Its savings book was later sold with the retail network to Santander.

According to Mr Blundell, “This act destroyed B&B as an ongoing business, despite it having a stronger balance sheet than Northern Rock, Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland, the latter two being partly nationalised at 81 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.”

In 2001, a report carried out by the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum said B&B should have been partly nationalised, at worst, for less than 40 per cent.

Among confirmed speakers for the meeting at the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford are Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley (which includes Bingley); David Ward, Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East; and Jane Collins, Ukip member of the European parliament for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

Adviser view

Simon Mansell, IFA and managing director at Worcester-based Temple Bar, said: “While I’m not an advocate of the compensation culture per se, this is a reflection of the duplicity and double standards the government shows in not compensating consumers when it would be fair to do so. This is compared, for example, to KeyData and other regulatory issues where the burden has been passed on to the financial adviser fraternity.”