Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Nationwide Building Society

I have some money, laughing called "invested" in the Nationwide Building Society. So, as usual at this time of year, I have received the usual bumf about their AGM, and have the opportunity to vote for the directors, their pay, etc.
Now I know they are required by law to send this to all their members, but what I don't understand is why they feel it is necessary to have incentives to encourage me to vote. As there is no choice of directors, the board recommending that one votes for all the candidates (well they would, wouldn't they), I can't see much difference between the vote for Nationwide directors and elections in the old USSR, except that I won't be sent to Siberia if I don't vote.
Perhaps I should vote against the Remuneration report; to me £650K for the Chief Executive of a Building Society seems a bit OTT, but this would simply be a waste of time as the Society encourages their members to put one big cross in a single box at the top of the form to indicate that they are in favour of everything, and I suspect that this is what most voters will do.
Meanwhile their claim that "With no shareholders our only focus is on you" seemed a bit hollow when I discovered that my ex-TESSA investment was paying a mere 0.5% interest. No, like all other financial institutions they focus on giving a good starting rate and then decreasing it as fast as possible and hoping that the investor doesn't notice. I foolishly didn't, and have now invested the money elsewhere.
Perhaps, if anyone at the Nationwide reads this, they might care to point out which of their investments cannot be bettered by someone going to a bank or other financial institution which has shareholders.


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