Nationwide launches online-based current account
28 November 2012 | 5026 views | 0
The UK's Nationwide Building Society is trying to move customers out if its branches with the launch of a current account that can only be used online and over the phone.
The FlexDirect self-service account can be opened in branch, online or by telephone. However, customers will be required to use the Web or phone to carry out "day-to-day transactions".
To encourage take-up, Nationwide is offering credit interest of two per cent for the first year on in-credit balances up to £2,500 and has put together a dedicated team to switches customers' direct debits and standing orders for them.
Phil Smith, head, current accounts, Nationwide, says: "FlexDirect offers customers a competitive rate of credit interest as well as providing them with access to exclusive deals on other Nationwide products. Supported by our Internet Bank, we feel this account will be a real hit with customers looking to get more from their current account."
The account is the first of several new options in the pipeline thanks to a new IT system which went live earlier this month as the building society makes an aggressive push to take on Britain's banks.
Reporting first half pre-tax profits of £124 million, yesterday the company claimed to have opened 184,200 new current accounts in the six months, with the number of customers switching from banks to Nationwide for their main service more than doubling to 51,400.
It has also confirmed interest in the 316 Royal Bank of Scotland branches up for sale as part of plans to start lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.