Coventry Building Society today announced that minimum opening
balances across a number of investment accounts have been lowered. The Society was forced
to increase minimum opening balances following disruption to business from speculators and
todays move restores lower entry requirements for the benefit of small savers. This
follows the launch of Coventry Building Society Charitable Foundation.
From 3 November 1998, new investors will be required to agree to assign to the
Charitable Foundation any future windfall payments which might arise from a conversion in
the first five years of their membership. The requirements will not extend to any
windfalls payable to members as borrowers. Existing members at 2 November 1998 are also
unaffected by this move.
Coventry Building society Charitable Foundation, which is a registered charity, is
established to provide a focus for the Societys charitable giving and will provide
financial assistance to charities, particularly those which are active within the
geographical area covered by the Societys operations.
Martin Ritchley, the Societys Chief Executive, said:
"We have repeatedly made our position abundantly clear that we have no intention
of changing from being a building society to become a bank. Nevertheless, we have
continued to suffer from the disruption caused by speculators seeking an undeserved
windfall. For some time, we have been carefully considering the best way to avoid such
disruption and at the same time, allow easier access to our wide range of competitive
savings accounts to genuine savers.
"The introduction of the charitable assignment scheme will deter speculators and
allows us to reduce minimum opening levels on several savings accounts, so that we can
once again fulfil our true role as the natural home for small savers. Genuine savers will
now be in a better position to benefit from our excellent rates of interest without having
to save a substantial amount of money in the first place.
"New investing members will enjoy the privalege of membership, including the right
to vote and have a say in how their Society is run, but for the first five years of their
membership, they must agree to assign any conversion benefits to the Charitable
Foundation. We believe that this move is in the best interests of the society and our
members and will be welcomed by new savers who are joining us to enjoy the ongoing
benefits of building society membership.
"Coventry Building Society remains firmly committed to staying an independent and
highly successful building society. Todays announcement is a further demonstration
of our determination to deliver the real benefits of our status to more and more people.
As our advertising says "TLC not PLC"."