History of Nationwide

In the late 19th Century, life was relatively simple. Banking products and services were available to the wealthy, while the working classes found it hard to get credit and find secure, comfortable, and long-term housing. The idea of a Mutual Society that enabled ordinary, working class people to save and borrow money for land and materials with which to build their own homes was ideal. This was a solution built first and foremost on the needs of the people.

Nationwide’s origins lie in the Provident Union Building Society (Wiltshire, 1846), the Northampton Town & County Freehold Land Society (Northampton 1848), and within the co-operative movement in London (1884). Following numerous mergers – most importantly the merger with Anglia Building Society in 1987 and the Portman Building Society in 2007, Nationwide is the now the world’s largest mutual financial institution, the UK’s third largest mortgage lender, and one of the UK’s largest savings providers. We have a heritage, culture and ethos that remain unique, and of course, built on the solid foundation of mutuality.

Life has changed quite drastically since the late 19th Century, but despite the increasingly complex regulatory environment and the recent financial crises, at Nationwide we have remained solid, stable and dependable – committed to doing the right thing by our members, and faithful to our mutual heritage.

History by year

1846: The Provident Union Building Society is founded in Ramsbury, Wiltshire.
1848: The Northampton Town and County Freehold Land Society is founded.
1884: The Southern Co-operative Permanent Building Society opens.
1967: The Northampton Town and County merges with Leicestershire Building
Society to form Anglia Building Society.
1970: The Co-operative Permanent Building Society changes its name to
Nationwide Building Society.
1987: Nationwide merges with Anglia to become Nationwide Anglia, and the FlexAccount is launched – the first full service current account to pay interest.
1991: The brand’s name is shortened to Nationwide.
1997: Nationwide launches the UK’s first retail internet banking service.
2007: Nationwide merges with the Portman Building Society.
2008: Nationwide merges with Derbyshire and Cheshire Building Societies, and acquires the Dunfermline Building Society the following year.
2011: Nationwide launches its ‘On your side’ brand promise.
2012: Nationwide launches its first mobile banking platform and its FlexDirect current account.
2013: Nationwide launches FlexPlus – its first premium packaged current account, and wins the ‘Your Money Award’ 2013 for best online banking provider.
2014: Nationwide wins Best Overall Online Provider, Best Online Current Account Provider, Best Online Credit Card Provider in the Your Money Direct Awards 2014.

Full list of mergers and acquisitions

Building Societies that Nationwide have taken over or merged with:

A - F - This link is used to show and hide related content.

  • Albany
  • Albion Permanent Benefit
  • Amalgamated General
  • Amersham District Permanent
  • Anglia
  • Anglia Hastings & Thanet
  • Ascot & District 838th Starr Bowkett
  • Ashford Mutual
  • Barnstaple
  • Barnstaple & North Devon
  • Berkhamsted District
  • Berks & Bucks Permanent Mutual Benefit
  • Berkshire
  • Bideford
  • Birmingham Ebenezer
  • Blaby Neighbourhood Permanent Benefit
  • Bognor Mutual
  • Bournemouth & Christchurch
  • Bournemouth Benefit
  • Bournemouth Hants & Dorset
  • Bournemouth Working Men's Permanent
  • Brentwood
  • Brighton & Shoreham
  • Brighton & Southern Counties
  • British Co-operative
  • Bromley
  • Bromley & South Eastern Permanent Investment
  • Chancery Permanent
  • Chard & District Mutual
  • Chelsea District Mutual Benefit
  • Cheshire Building Society
  • Christchurch & Bournemouth
  • Church of England
  • Church Of England Temperance & General Permanent
  • Citizens Permanent
  • Citizens Regency
  • City Mutual
  • City of Peterborough Permanent 

    Benefit

  • City Terminus
  • Clapham Perseverance
  • Coleraine Co-operative Permanent
  • Cornwall
  • Country
  • Court Permanent Benefit
  • Cranbrook District Mutual
  • Crewkerne & District Permanent
  • Darwen & District Permanent
  • Derbyshire Building Society
  • Dover Permanent Benefit
  • Dunfermline Building Society
  • Effra Mutual
  • Empire Benefit
  • Esher
  • Exeter Benefit
  • Finsbury

G - P - This link is used to show and hide related content.

  • General
  • Gillingham Kent Investment Permanent Benefit
  • Goldhawk
  • Goldhawk Mutual Benefit
  • Great Torrington
  • Greenwich
  • Grimsby
  • Grimsby & Cleethorpes Permanent Benefit
  • Grimsby & North Lincolnshire
  • Grimsby & North Lincolnshire Permanent
  • Hastings & East Sussex
  • Hastings & Thanet
  • Hastings Permanent
  • Herald
  • Hinckley & Leicestershire
  • Hinckley South Leicestershire Permanent Benefit
  • Holloway
  • Holloway & City Terminus
  • Home Counties
  • Institute
  • Isle of Thanet
  • Kensington Permanent
  • Kensington Permanent Benefit
  • Kent County
  • Kilburn
  • Kings Cross & Pentonville Permanent
  • Kingscliffe
  • Kingston
  • Kingsway
  • Lake District Permanent
  • Lambeth
  • Leicestershire
  • Lombardia Permanent Benefit
  • London & Midland
  • London & South of England
  • London Goldhawk
  • London Investment
  • Maidenhead
  • Maidenhead & Berkshire
  • Marlborough
  • Merthyr & Dowlais Permanent Benefit
  • Metropolitan
  • Middlesex
  • Middlesex Mutual
  • Nationwide Anglia Building Society
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • Nineteenth Century
  • North Wilts Equitable
  • North Wilts Ridgeway
  • Northampton & Midlands
  • Northampton Town & County
  • Northampton Town & County Benefit
  • Northampton Town & County Freehold Land Society
  • Northamptonshire Foresters
  • Oakleaf
  • Ore Permanent
  • Orpington
  • Paddington
  • Peckham Permanent
  • Pentonville & General Permanent Benefit
  • Perpetual Investment
  • Piccadilly Permanent
  • Portman
  • Portman Wessex

R - Z - This link is used to show and hide related content.

  • Ramsbury
  • Ramsgate Cinque Port Permanent Benefit
  • Regency
  • Regency & West of England
  • Reliant
  • Richmond Mutual
  • Ridgeway
  • Rock (Llanelly) Permanent
  • Royal Benefit
  • Scottish Amicable
  • Seaford & District Mutual
  • Sevenoaks District Mutual
  • Sheerness & Gillingham
  • Slough & Eton Benefit
  • South of England
  • South West Middx
  • South West Middx Mutual Benefit
  • South Western
  • Southampton & South Hants
  • Southern Co-operative Permanent
  • St. James
  • St. Martins le Grand
  • St. Pancras
  • Staffordshire
  • Stockwell Permanent Reddish
  • Sussex Mutual
  • Swanage & Isle of Purbeck
  • Temple Bar
  • Thames Estuary
  • Tunbridge Wells Permanent
  • Twickenham Twickenham, Teddington & District
  • Uckfield Permanent Benefit
  • Ulverston Temperance Permanent
  • United Friends Perpetual Benefit
  • Wallingford District Permanent
  • Wandsworth
  • Watford & West Herts Permanent Benefit
  • Wellingborough Town District Permanent Benefit
  • Wessex
  • West Hove
  • West Lancashire
  • West London Investment
  • West of England
  • Western Counties
  • Western Equity Permanent Mutual Benefit
  • Westminster
  • Whitehall
  • Wigan Permanent
  • Willesden
  • Wilts & Western Benefit
  • Winchester City & District Mutual
  • Windsor & Eton
  • Woburn Sands Permanent Benefit
  • Wolverton (Bucks) Permanent Benefit
  • Worcester Housing & Savings Society

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