With the credit crunch forcing many companies into administration, the most savvy of the many flailing companies dotted about the country will look to either latch on to a successful company via means of a merger, or look to the government to bail them out. We have seen many high street banks and building societies rescued by the banks in the previous year or two, beginning with Northern Rock and leading up to Barclays’ most recent bail out.
However, when a company becomes nationalised, the shareholders that own parts of the company potentially stand to lose all the money and power that they have invested within the company over the years of their support. This could be the case with the recent nationalisation of high street building society Bradford and Bingley, with the Treasury deciding to take over the bank and auction off its elements to the highest bidders.
Now, a BBC correspondent has referred to the selling off of B & B’s shares as ‘legal robbery’, as the shareholders were not consulted beforehand and all stand to lose all of their investments; he states that if it was anyone other than the government that was doing this, then it would be illegal.
The recession has hit the bank hard, especially in his area of conveyancing, with house prices falling in relation to the economy, yet the public are either too scared to buy or too scared to sell as they do not know what is around the corner.
The risks associated with investing in shares within a company are often not as clear as they may seem; many investors may think that their shares will rise and fall sporadically and all that they need to do is wait for the right time to sell, yet this is not always the case.
When unexpected and, most importantly, unpredicted changes occur within the economy, then all bets can be off and according to a Bradfrod conveyancing solicitor, the fact that the government have decided to auction off the company’s parts does not entitle the shareholders to any compensation as they should have been aware of the risks when they invested.
If you have a query about conveyancing, or would like legal advice concerning any other part of the house purchasing process, then contact a Bradford conveyancing solicitor today, to see if they can make things a little clearer for you; remember, always read the small print before you sign on the dotted line!