Organisation Overview

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Building society, Nationwide

Nationwide is the world’s largest building society, and as such holds a unique place on the UK high street. 

Our aim is to be the UK’s first choice for financial services - offering a meaningful alternative to the established banks - with around 15 million members and 18,000 employees (as of June 2016), we continue to run for the benefit of our members rather than shareholders. 

“ Our fundamental purpose is to help people into a home of their own and to help them save for the future. We’re owned by our members and are answerable to them. Which is why any profits we make are put immediately back to work for their benefit, whether it’s investing in excellent service, great products or our infrastructure. So, profit is obviously vitally important as it underpins our financial security, supports growth and safeguards our future for our members. ”

Joe Garner, CEO

Nationwide financial highlights 2016

Our performance reflects our long term focus on ‘putting members first’ with great products, and excellent customer service.

  • Gross mortgage lending up 20% to £32.6 billion, with net mortgage lending up 28% to £9.1 billion
  • Savings balances grew by £6.3 billion
  • 525,000 new accounts opened, up by 12%, current account switching up 38%
  • We ranked number one for customer service satisfaction amongst our high street competitors, extending our lead to 7.7% 
  • Underlying profit was up 9% to £1.337 billion, with statutory profit up 23% to £1.279 billion.

For more information, view our full report.

“ Despite our size, we account for only 2% of total industry complaints, and we make every attempt to resolve these to members’ satisfaction. When cases do get referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service, 82% of our decisions are upheld, compared with the industry average of 47%. ”

Joe Garner, CEO

Nationwide and banking innovation

Right now the UK is a hotspot of innovation and development in the financial services world, and as a result many UK customers expect the financial services to develop at the same pace of today’s consumer society.

Nationwide has a history of innovation, dating back to being the first UK business to launch an internet bank back in 1997. Our more recent track record includes:

  • Providing the ability to check account balances on Android Wear™, Smart watches and Apple watches
  • Delivering the expansion of Nationwide Now, an innovative service which connects members to mortgage, personal banking and financial consultants via a high definition video link in branches.
  • Being one of the first financial services providers in the UK to offer members the ability to use Apple Pay to make purchases in apps and at contactless points.
  • Leading the way in offering the first dedicated 24/7 customer service Twitter feed.

“ Consumer demand for digital services continues to evolve rapidly, and it is vital that we allow members to transact with us in their preferred manner. As we seek to offer more products to more people, we will not forget that exceptional member service is critical across all points of access. ”

David Roberts, Chairman

The Nationwide business model

Our approach to providing financial services is straightforward – we offer a broad range of mortgages, savings, current accounts and other financial products, delivering excellent service to our members, who are also our owners.

We believe this makes Nationwide one of the most attractive and safest financial institutions on the high street.

As a society we continue to generate more value for members, as we seek to optimise our profits and in turn provide better products and services, support our communities more widely, and to continue to stand out as the only true alternative to the established banks.

Our strategic priorities are set out under four themes, which are to be a:

  • Modern mutual
  • Great employer
  • Exemplar organisation
  • Strong society

For more information, see our Strategic and Financial Review(PDF)

“ Investing in our employees and valuing their contribution has made Nationwide what it is today – a financial services organisation that’s trusted by millions with the highest level of customer service on the high street. ”

Alison Robb, Group Director

Nationwide: Our people

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