The Bickerstaffe Record
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Being Labour, Breaking News

A letter from the bank

01.25.09 | Comment?

I’m not a member of the ‘shareholder society’, because I’ve not got any shares.  Apart from about two, which I acquired back in the mists of time through having an account with the Trustee Savings Bank when I was a kid; in those days you joined the closest one, and that was the closest one.

 These shares, now worth about a fiver or some such, are with the newly merged and bailed out Lloyds Banking Group, and because of this I got a letter from their Chairman, Victor Blank, the other day – not a personal letter, I sensed somehow, but a useful update on the bank’s plans for my fiver nonetheless.

Victor wrote:

 ‘Dear Shareholder

 blah de blah de blah de blah…..

As shareholders will be aware, no dividend may be paid on th lloyds Banking Group shares while any of the HM Treasury Preference Shares are outstandin, unless otherwise agreed by HM Treasury….blah de blah de blah.

However, the restriction on payment of dividends does not preclude the declaration of a capitalistion issue paid out of non-distributable reserves.  We intend to isse shares by way of a Capitalistion issue for the 2008 financial year at a level to be determined by the Lloyds Banking Group board at the appropriate time….blah de blah etc etc…..blah’

Notwithstanding my obvious immense desire to add another shares to my two shares, this seems to me to be completely, utterly outrageous cheating of the supposedly new system, using a loophole to pay out to shareholders a share or few in lieu of a dividend, and using the reserve to do that when it’s just been bailed out and should be paying off what is effectively its debt to the government (i.e. the non-shareholding taxpayer).

 I’m not an expert on this stuff, though.  Please tell me I’m wrong, so I can look forward to my extra £1.50 share guilt-free.

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