Home Business NewsBusinessBanking Nationwide pledges to retain branches until May 2021

Nationwide pledges to retain branches until May 2021

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
17th Mar 19 10:43 am

Nationwide Building Society has pledged to retain branches for at least two years, in any city or town where they have had a presence for two years or more.

The building society said this pledge will apply until May 2021, as there have been concerns over customers being able to access to cashpoints and branches.  Nationwide are to support communities and will allocate £22m of funding over five-years to help with local housing issues.

The building society has entered into the business banking market along with a £50m project to build over 230 new homes in Swindon. All profit will re invested back into the community.

Figures from the Centre of Retail Research suggests around 10,000 shops are to close throughout 2019.

Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide Building Society said, “Healthy high streets are vital in keeping local communities alive.

“They are a major part of our history and identity, a space where we come together.

“But in many cases, they have become almost uniquely transactional, despite consumer behaviour highlighting that people increasingly want to relax and enjoy themselves when out shopping.

“We need to rediscover the sense of belonging that has served communities for centuries and as businesses we need to open our doors to people and not just customers.

“It’s not good enough that we succumb to the perceived inevitable and watch our local shopping centres fade away.

“We owe it to our communities to make ourselves relevant again.”

Over the next five-years Nationwide are committed to spend £350m to retain branches for the needs of their customers.

The building society said, “Where it makes sense to do so,” there will be branch closures.

Garner added, “As a mutual we exist to serve the needs of our members and we are driven by that purpose.

“Our members tell us they want digital convenience and a human touch.

“That’s why we are both investing in technology and making this promise to maintain our branches.

“Even with the latest technology, members appreciate being able to visit a building and meet with real people who can help them with their financial affairs or even just listen.”

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