AGM 2020 voting results

Annual General Meeting 2020

The 141st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the members of Penrith Building Society was held at 6.00pm on Wednesday, 22 April 2020. Due to the on going COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown conditions caused by this, the AGM was hosted virtually for the first time. CEO Tim Bowen presented the agenda from the Penrith Building Society Head Office.
The results were as follows:

RESOLUTIONNumber of Votes ForNumber of Votes AgainstNumber of Votes Withheld% in Favour
To receive the Directors’ Report, Annual Accounts & Annual Business Statement for the year ended 31st December 2019 589 4 3 97.3
To approve the Directors' Remuneration Report for the year ended 31st December 2019 557 31 8 92.1
To approve the re-appointment of Mazars LLP as Auditor 581 12 3 96
To re-elect Timothy James Bowen 567 24 5 93.7
To re-elect Robert James Cairns 564 24 8 93.2
To re-elect Richard Leslie Drinkwater 564 22 10 93.2
To re-elect Elspeth Louise James 571 19 6 94.3
To re-elect Janice Lincoln 566 24 6 93.5
To re-elect William Robert Charles Lindsay 560 25 11 92.6

As has been the case for a number of years the Society donates a sum to a nominated charity for each vote cast. This year it has been agreed that a donation will be made to Eden Animal Rescue, Hospice at Home – Carlisle & North Lakeland, Carlisle & Eden MIND and BEEP Doctors for each vote cast.

Directors’ Annual General Meeting Statement

Delivered by Tim Bowen, CEO and appointed Chairman of the AGM – Delivered at the Society’s Annual General Meeting 22 April 2020, held at the Society’s office, 7 King Street, Penrith at 6:00pm.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome from me, Tim Bowen, to our very first virtual Annual General Meeting, which represents our 141st AGM.

We find ourselves in strange times with the current pandemic but wanted to ensure we could still adhere to our responsibilities regarding the holding of this AGM.

Tonight, you will hear from only me due to the nature of the platform we are using to hold this meeting. You may potentially hear from the Society’s FD, Elspeth James, towards the end of the meeting.

Rest assured, our Chairman and the rest of the Board are also tuned in from the safety of their homes.

I would also like to thank everyone who has similarly joined tonight’s meeting and the many of you who have already voted on our various resolutions – your continuing support of the Society, particularly in these difficult times, is so much appreciated.

2019 was a terrific year for the Society and I will update you a little later in this statement regarding the pleasing results we achieved.

We would also like to, as we do each year, assure you that it is still very much the Board’s intention to remain an independent mutual building society.

We have no plans whatsoever to change our current form as we believe that there is still very much a place for us as your local building society and staying as a building society, we believe, is in the best interests of our members, our staff and the community we operate in.

At last year’s AGM, our Chairman, Rob Cairns boasted that it was the first year, since becoming your Chairman, that he had been able to introduce an unchanged Board and regrettably it might have been a case of speaking far too soon as, immediately after this AGM, two of our present non-executive directors will step down for totally different reasons.

Firstly, Rich Vecqueray, who joined the Board on 27 April 2017, has become Chief Executive of a global agri-tech business which not only means he has had to relocate from our area but also, in normal times, flies across the world to oversee business interests in such diverse places as Argentina and New Zealand for example. Rich has done incredibly well attending our various meetings over the past year and the entrepreneurial skills and the enthusiasm that he has provided to the Board will be greatly missed. One day, when life settles down a bit for him, I hope he will reconsider joining the Penrith’s Board.

Our other leaver is our longest standing director, Alan Waterfield, who joined the Board on 1 July 2010. The reason for Alan standing down is because he is our longest standing director as the Code of Corporate Governance, which we always do our best to have regard to, suggests the longest term for a non-executive director should be 9 years.

Alan has been a total stalwart for the Society, having filled the roles of Senior Independent Director, Chairman of the Nominations Committee, Chairman of the Remuneration Committee as well as being Vice Chairman. I must particularly thank Alan for the support he has given to me since I took over as CEO as well as standing in for Rob just a few weeks ago when Rob was absent due to illness with Alan most competently filling the role of Chairman.

Alan’s modern approach to accountancy and his significant up-to-date IT knowledge have been very instrumental in helping the Board make the right decisions during his non-executive director tenure.
We will very much miss the wise counsel we have received from both Alan and Rich over the years and send our very best wishes to them for the future.

We are pleased to be able to advise that we have found two excellent replacements for our two departing directors and I look forward to bringing them to our next Annual General Meeting for formal election by our members.
You will note that, for the first time, all the remaining members of the Board are standing for re-election tonight. This is a change from how the Society has managed Director re-elections in the past and is a result of the Board agreeing that the Society should pay due regard to the revised UK Corporate Governance Code. Moving forward, all Directors will therefore stand for re-election on an annual basis.

Both I, and the Board strongly recommend that you vote for all directors who are standing for re-election.

It would be remiss of me if I did not take a moment to thank my fantastic Executive Team and our wonderful team of staff for their immense dedication and superb resilience over the Coronavirus period – they have, as often before, gone the extra mile to ensure we could continue to deliver the required service to you our members throughout this worrying and uncertain period. My thanks and the Board’s thanks go out to them all for their magnificent efforts.

Regarding the performance of the Society in 2019 – the Society remains a great business. I am so proud of what the team achieved in 2019, producing growth in assets of 5.38% and an increase in our profit of 5.27%. As I stated in our Annual Report & Accounts, mortgage lending remains critical to our success and long-term sustainability and one of the main highlights for me in 2019 was the execution of our strategic objectives in this area which led to our best ever gross lending performance of £26.53 million. In addition, we added £5.6 million to our existing savings book, we significantly reduced our liquidity to a more profitable level.

The support of you, our members is always so important for our future success so can I finally wish all of you and all your families well over these troublesome times. I genuinely believe that when we find ourselves in times like we currently do the most important thing a business can provide is empathy, teamwork, whether within your family unit or your work, thoughtfulness and kindness. Please take care and stay safe. I certainly hope that we can all soon get back to leading normal lives together. I also look forward to seeing many of you at our AGM next year where we may share a glass of wine with you.

As always, thank you for your continuing support of the Society and I wish you and your families the very very best.