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Should I join Lloyds Action Now?

Investment | Shares Helpful? 31

Asked by leadbrickuk, submitted 06 May 2011.

Open Quote I have shares in Lloyds TSB and recently recieved a letter from Lloyds Action Now saying that they were taking action against Lloyds on behalf of shareholders but would require nearly £300 from me to fund the action and I would be excluded from any compensation if i did not join (most of my shares were puchased after the HBOS merger).

I'm not to sure what this is about or whether it's to my advantage, what's your advice?

I also own shares in Minmet which disapeared 3 or 4 years ago and suddenly I've recived an annual report for 2009 and a voting from, but i can't find anything out about what's happened to this company or if in the future the shares will have some value. Do you know anything?
End Quote

Answered by Justin on 09 May 2011

Lloyds Action Now is a group of Lloyds TSB shareholders (currently around 4,000) who are fighting for compensation with respect to losses they incurred following the Government's merger of Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). Their main bone of contention is that the Government didn't disclose the extent it had propped up the ailing HBOS, whose precarious financial position appeared to have a big downward affect on the Lloyds TSB share price following the merger.

The Group is a not for profit organisation trying to build up a fighting fund to take the Government to court. The contribution required to join is £300, or £270 if you apply online (plus 3.6p per share if you own over 750 shares), although if you own fewer than 250 shares you only need pay £60 now - the balance will be paid from any compensation payout. It's hoped the money raised will be sufficient to cover legal costs (and the costs of trying to increase membership shorter term), but if more money is required to fight the case the Group plans to seek this from a litigation funder (someone who backs the case in return for a cut of any winnings) rather than members.

Should you join? In the first instance I'd check whether you might theoretically be entitled to compensation, given most of your shares were purchased post merger. Take a look at the Lloyds Action Now website which has a simple tool to help establish this.

If you are eligible then it's really a case of whether you want to gamble £300 for the opportunity to potentially win compensation in future. Such court actions can be lengthy affairs, so it might take years before a verdict is given. And trying to successfully predict the outcome now is nigh on impossible. If there's potentially thousands of pounds at stake it might be worth taking a punt, but bear in mind you could be in for a long, uncertain wait.

Minmet was an oil and gas exploration company, delisted from AiM in 2008 following controversy over the way the company had handled its cash and failing to disclose information to its shareholders (more info here). It's now trading as Aventine Resources PLC and the 2009 Annual Report you've received suggests the company is trying to sell off its largest investment, shares in Tucumcari Exploration LLC (a part-developed Mexican gas and pipeline infrastructure). I know very little about the company, but from skimming through the report I think there's a slim chance your shares will have some value in future. But given you have little practical option but to stay put let's keep our fingers crossed!

Please note this answer does not constitute a recommendation or financial advice and should not be relied upon when making specific investment or other financial decisions. You should always undertake your own research into whether a product or service is appropriate for your needs and, if necessary, use a qualified professional adviser.

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