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EMAIL YOUR MP

Please use/adapt the below template and email your local MP.

It is important that you include your name, address and post code at the end. Strict parliamentary rules mean that MPs are only allowed to help their own constituents.

You can find our who your local MP is and their email address at:
https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons

- - EMAIL TEMPLATE - -

SUBJECT: Concerns regarding the proposed takeover of Virgin Money by the Nationwide building society

Dear <MP NAME>

I am writing to you as my MP as I have a number of concerns regarding the proposed takeover of Virgin Money by the Nationwide Building Society.

I would appreciate your answers to my questions below, but in the meantime I believe Parliament should act immediately to delay this deal so that Nationwide members, Parliament and Regulators can scrutinise it fully.

1/ Nationwide claims that a combined group will be financially stronger after the acquisition of Virgin Money.  Does the Prudential Regulatory Authority agree? 

Nationwide provides 1 in 10 mortgages in the UK.  It is a safe institution with a reported capital (CET1) ratio of 26.5%, and passed the most recent Prudential Regulatory Authority solvency stress test comfortably.  Virgin Money is a weaker organisation, and the loss of Nationwide member capital to buy out Virgin Money shareholders, plus the years of restructuring and integrating that would inevitably follow, would result in a substantially weaker group.

2/ Will Parliament step in and ensure Nationwide complies with the law?

Nationwide has been advised that a member vote is not needed for this deal to go through. This appears to be contrary to the Building Society Act of 1986, section 92A. Virgin Money does not make the majority of its income from mortgages, nor is smaller than 15% of the size of Nationwide - so it is apparent from these clauses that a member vote is required to approve this proposed deal.

3/ Will the Financial Conduct Authority investigate to ensure that Nationwide is taking it’s consumer duty seriously, and not reneging on principles of fairness and good governance in how it is treating it’s members - including abiding by it’s own rules?

The mutual governance ethos is of “one member, one vote” - where, in the absence of shareholders, members have a say in how the business is managed.  Previously Nationwide held a member vote to approve the allocation of just 1% of the society’s profits to charity. Members have requested a Special General Meeting of the society to pass a resolution that the takeover of Virgin money cannot proceed without a vote, as per the society’s rules. Nationwide have not acknowledged this.

4/ What will you do as my MP to ensure common sense prevails, preserving good governance, a healthy mortgage market and a strong mutual sector for the benefit of the UK?

Commentators from both houses, members up and down the country, and the press are all calling out Nationwide management for trying to rush through an ill-conceived deal that is detrimental to the interests of the members of the Nationwide Building Society and the UK at large.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Yours sincerely,

<YOUR FULL NAME>
<YOUR ADDRESS INCLUDING POST CODE>