Norwich and Peterborough Building Society members urged to vote yes to merger
Members of Norwich and Peterborough Building Society are being urged to vote for a merger, with the warning that a no vote would see branches of the institution close.
Voting packs, which include a 35-page merger booklet, have been posted out ahead of special general meeting next month where the vote will be taken on a proposed merger with Yorkshire Building Society.
The board of Norwich and Peterborough 'strongly recommends' the proposed merger, which is says is 'firmly in the best interests of members'.
Gordon Horsfield, chairman of Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, said: 'As the merger booklet issued to eligible voting members states, the board has undertaken a detailed strategic review of the options for the future and concluded unanimously that a merger with the Yorkshire is firmly in the best interests of members.
'In the absence of a merger, further significant cost cutting would be required to generate profitability to reinvest in the business.
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'Some products and services would have to be discontinued and more branches would have to be closed.'
Norwich and Peterborough currently has 46 branches, including more than a dozen in Norfolk.
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Mr Horsfield said: 'The proposed merger will bring together two building societies with shared values and a strong commitment to delivering long-term member value and exceptional customer service.
'Your board believes that the enlarged society will offer our members enhanced security by combining the Yorkshire's financial strength as the UK's second largest building society with N&P's regional strength in the East of England.
'The merger requires the approval of our members. Your board urges you to vote in favour of the proposed merger in order to secure the benefits that the merger would bring.'
The proposed merger would create an society with more than three million members and 224 branches.
Under the deal, Yorkshire Building Society has pledged to invest in Norwich and Peterborough's branch network as soon as practicable.
Members have until Wednesday, August 17 to return voting forms. They can also register their votes online at www.votebyinternet.com/sgmnandp2011, return their voting form in the prepaid envelope in member packs or vote on the day of the general meeting on Monday, August 22.
A helpline to answer member enquiries on eligibility to vote, and any other merger related questions, is available on 0845 128 2822 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday or 9am to 5pm on Saturday.
Members can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
As reported in the EDP earlier this year, Norwich and Peterborough pledged that thousands of people who lost their life savings after investing in collapsed investment company Keydata on their advice.
Around 3,200 of the building society's customers lost more than �53m when Keydata went into administration in the summer of 2009.