STANDARD LIFE'S mutual status was yesterday in danger again after retired lecturer David Stonebanks ...
STANDARD LIFE'S mutual status was yesterday in danger again after retired lecturer David Stonebanks delivered his almost 2,000 strong petition to the company, reports the Scotsman.
Stonebanks - promising policyholders average windfalls of about £2,500 if the insurer is to demutualise – expects that his petition will hold at least 1,000 "non-iffy" signatures required to push for a demutualisation vote.
SL now has three weeks to decide whether or not Stonebanks' request for a demutualisation vote is valid, but officials warned that long-term policy returns would suffer if the issue go to a vote.
This is also likely to cost policyholders about £10m - the same amount spent combating a similar situation created three years ago by the Australian carpetbagger Fred Woollard, says SL.
If the company announces Stonebanks' claim valid, a special meeting will be held by 15 October at which SL's 2.6m with-profits policyholders will vote on the matter. However, Stonebanks needs three quarters of the votes to succeed.
ALSO IN THE NEWS this morning is yesterday's announcement by the government about stakeholder products - further outlining details of these cheap savings products for people on moderate incomes.
This comes as the Treasury long-anticipated announcement failed to address the price-tag of the products, deciding instead to await a consumer research from the FSA before making any deciding about how much they would cost, writes the Telegraph.
However, it seems like the recommendations by Ron Sandler's, who suggested a 1pc-a-year price cap, won't go through as the insurance industry has already said that it will be impossible to market and sell them at such low cost.
MEANWHILE Norwich Union might face strike action after the insurer's announced yesterday that it is to cut 900 jobs, writes the Telegraph.
This comes after the company said that 600 of the job losses will be compulsory. Union Amicus said it accepted that NU had decided to axe almost 1,000 jobs, but general secretary of Amicus, Roger Lyons, added that the union did not accept the large amount of compulsory redundancies.
According to the Aviva director responsible for NU's general insurance business, Patrick Snowball, the job cuts were essential to increase efficiency. He also said this would make sure that the future of other NU staff was secured.
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