Membership is open to any person (individuals or corporate bodies) who wish to engage in trade and investment between the UK and Africa, or who wish to support the Society’s activities. Each member will have to subscribe for and retain at all times at least £25 of share capital in the Society. An offer document providing full details of the Society will be published shortly, and in the meantime we are running a crowdfunding campaign to help finance our development.
Every Member will be required to hold a minimum of 25 Shares to be a Member. Each Member has the same voting rights (one Member, one vote). There will be three classes of Member:
- User Members;
- Employee Members; and
- Supporter Members.
User Members and Employee Members will participate in the dividends of the Society (based on the Members contribution to the trading activities of the Society rather than based on the number of Shares held). A User Member that wishes to make use of the Society’s Services must pay a monthly membership fee of £25 per month or £250 per annum. A Supporter Member can become a User Member at any time by commencing to pay the membership fee, and any User Member who ceases to pay the membership fee will become a Supporter Member.
Employee Membership will be open to any employee of the Society or the Businesses. Any Employee who ceases to be an employee will become a Supporter Member.
The Shares are the primary source of the Society’s capital and are structured to provide a reasonable return to Shareholders so that the Society can attract the capital it needs to develop and grow. They will have the following particular characteristics:
- Can be subscribed for in the minimum amount of £25, and then in any multiples of £25 above this figure, up to a maximum of £100,000 per person;
- Subscription is open at any time;
- Non-transferable (other than in limited circumstances);
- Withdrawable at 3 months’ notice after the first year (subject to certain limitations);
- Interest payable, currently expected at the rates outlined below;
- Eligible for tax relief under the EIS and SEIS for UK taxpayers, subject to a minimum subscription of £500 and a minimum 3 year holding period.
The Shares represents an investment in the equity of the Society. The value of the Shares remains at par and will not go up or down. The Society gives no specific security against the investment other than the strength of its own balance sheet.
Interest is paid on Shares at rates which may vary if market conditions change, but which will always be competitive. Alterations to interest rates will be advised by notices prominently displayed in the registered office and on the website, similar to the announcement appearing below. Matters relating to Interest include:
- Interest is not subject to deduction of taxation and the gross amount will be credited to the Members in the form of additional Shares at the par value of £1 per share, rounded down to the nearest whole Share.
- Interest is calculated on a daily basis up to the date of the Society’s financial year end.
- Where adding interest to the account would increase the balance above the £100,000 maximum limit, the excess amount will be paid in cash to the Shareholder to keep within the Society’s limits.
- Taxpayers have a responsibility to declare interest to HMRC or the equivalent in their country of residence.
Anticipated Interest Rates:
Annual Interest Rates
|Up to £499||
|£500 up to £100,000||