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Nationwide overtakes major banks for branch-based banking

Nationwide overtakes major banks for branch-based banking

As other banks take the axe to their branch network, Nationwide Building Society's longstanding commitment to the high street means it now has the largest number of branches in the UK.

Research from Britain’s biggest building society reveals around two thirds of people (63%) value their local branch, with face-to-face service given as the top reason. Nationwide recently renewed its Branch Promise to not leave any town or city in which it is based until at least 2026 - in sharp contrast to mass bank closures up and down the country in recent years.

Nationwide’s stance on branches, in tandem with significant closure programmes, means it now has the largest branch network in the country. The building society currently has a presence at 605 sites around the UK, overtaking Lloyds, with a branch count of 598. Third-placed NatWest has over a hundred fewer branches than Nationwide.

Debbie Crosbie, Nationwide CEO, said: “Nationwide provides the face-to-face service that people value and need. We’re the large-scale alternative to shareholder owned banks and now we have the biggest branch network too. Our branches are busy and we’re an important part of local communities.”

Lloyds last month revealed 35 new branch closures, drawing a line under the provision of face-to-face services in 155 sites in total by the end of 2023 and 75 in 2024. Virgin Money meanwhile has announced plans to axe 30% of its branch network, Barclays has committed to shutting down 180 branches this year, NatWest is drawing the blinds on 143 branches, and HSBC has earmarked 114 branches for closure.

Nationwide has marked the occasion with a hard-hitting new advert that sees Dominic West cast as an out-of-touch bank boss. West, who works for the fictional A.N.Y Bank, is determined to introduce cutbacks and branch closures, despite his more astute assistant, played by comedian Sunil Patel, questioning his decisions.

Comments: (1)

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 09 October, 2023, 16:47Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

But they have still managed to close two of my local branches - Whetsone & Southgate. In addition, the Moorgate Branch, which is my work branch, is closed on Mondays & Thursdays. Yes, they are doing better than most of the high street banks, but I am not impressed by the PR.