Building Societies are owned by the members so to get around the thorny issue of
the members (owners) voting against the proposed merger of the Cheshire Building Society with the Nationwide they came
up with this little known clause (extract below)
to ensure the merger is completed as quickly as possible it will be facilitated under sections 42B(3)(b) of the Building Societies
Act in relation to The Cheshire and 94(5)(b) in relation to Nationwide. As a result the merger will proceed on the basis
of Board resolutions of the Cheshire and Nationwide Boards, rather than by member vote. The Societies’ Boards believe
it is in the interests of their members that the merger completes as quickly as possible to avoid a period of prolonged uncertainty.
The announcement of the merger was made on the 8th September 2008 and was completed
on 15th December 2008. The merger appears to have been pushed through by the financial services authority and no windfalls
were paid to any of the members which is ironic as the finally irony is that the Cheshire board of directors now believe that
a merger with no financial windfall for the members is the right thing to do but in 2006 it leaked out that "Cheshire
Building Society had turned down a take-over approach that could have resulted in windfall payments of about £650 to
members and charities. Portman Building Society, the third largest after Nationwide and Britannia (at the time), made a bid
that potentially valued the Cheshire at up to £300m. Jason Gaunt, the Cheshire marketing director, said "The
offer was unsolicited. We considered the approach and the board's considered view was that it served no useful purpose.
It is best for our members to continue as a mutual." 3 years later was Jason Gaunt right?
Nationwide Building Society has said that for the first 2 years it will retain the Cheshire name and
will then look at it again.
Cheshire Building Society
has 42 branches