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Carpetbaggers welcome at Kent Reliance

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Kent Reliance, a building society based in Chatham, Kent, has abandoned rules insisting that customers opening accounts forego the right to any windfall that may be payable should the society convert to plc status.

Ii said it now welcomed applications for membership from so-called carpetbaggers, though it warned windfalls would not necessarily be forthcoming.

Savers will be able to open an account with just £1, though they will need to deposit at least £100 to be guaranteed a pay-out if the society demutualises in future, or is taken over.

Ivan Gould, the head of operations at Kent Reliance, said: “We don’t feel the charitable assignment scheme is appropriate any more – it was put in place to stop the disruptive effect of carpetbaggers but we now have systems in place to cope with large numbers of applications for membership.”


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