Nationwide is to offer a Fairer Share bonus worth £350 million to members

  • Building Society gave around 3.3 million customers £100 each last year

Nationwide will award millions of members a loyalty bonus worth at least £350 million.

The building association gave around 3.3 million customers £100 each last year. But the latest payout could be even higher, as the mutual’s profits are supported by higher interest rates.

Nationwide has said it plans to take advantage of this by continuing to pay a ‘Fairer Share’ bonus to eligible members. This is money revealed Nationwide hoped to make payouts again earlier this week.

Payout: Nationwide has said it wants to take advantage of this to continue paying a ‘Fairer Share’ bonus to eligible members

The details, to be announced on Thursday, will come a day after Virgin Money shareholders decide whether to accept a controversial £2.9 billion takeover bid from Nationwide.

The mutual, which is owned by its 16 million customers, has come under fire for not offering them a vote on the deal – the biggest in British banking since the 2008 financial crisis – and for ignoring the benefits of the acquisition has not been made clear.

It is argued that buying Virgin Money will create a combined group with ‘enhanced financial strength’, which will be behind only Lloyds Banking Group in savings and loans.

Opposition to the 220 pence per share deal has grown – and not just from Nationwide members who claim they have been denied a vote on a ‘technical nature’.

As the Mail on Sunday revealed last week, Virgin Money’s largest independent investor attacked the board for recommending Nationwide’s bid, which the company said is “likely to sell shareholders very short”.

Allan Gray, an Australian fund management group that owns 10 percent of Virgin Money, said it was “disappointed” with the offer, although it did not say which way it would vote.

Australian investors hold the key to the outcome as they own just under half of the bank’s shares.

This is a legacy from the days when the former Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group was owned by National Australia Bank.

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has already pledged its 15 percent stake in favor of the deal.

The tycoon is expected to receive more than £600 million for his shares and licensing add-ons.

Virgin Money needs three-quarters of voting shareholders to approve the deal, which experts say is a pretty high bar.

Nationwide declined to comment.

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