John Crossley, Nationwide head of current accounts, said: “Nationwide welcomes the review by the Office for Fair Trading into the Personal Current Account market. Anything that improves transparency across the industry and increases the level of switching can only be a good thing.
“The Society has already implemented many of the requirements of the OFT from its March 2010 report and was one of the first providers in the UK to implement an annual current account summary allowing customers to easily review any charges applied to the account during the year.
“Nationwide was identified by the ICB in its interim review as the main challenger brand in the UK and is clearly a strong and natural choice for customers looking to the alternatives to the big banks.
“Recent events appear to have encouraged change. In the last week, the number of people switching their main current account to the Society through all channels, branch, telephone and online, has jumped 67% compared to the week before recent problems experienced by some of the big banks.
“People are starting to realise that switching is easier than they thought and that for a little time and effort they can get a competitive current account deal from a provider that they trust.
“Nationwide offers a guarantee to customers that we will contact their direct debit providers within 10 working days, if not we will give them £100.
“Nationwide is developing plans to enter the SME lending market although this is unlikely to take place until 2013. The Society feels that SME lending would be a good strategic fit to its existing business, given our strong franchise, broad distribution network and current exposure to personal current accounts and commercial lending activities.”
Notes to editors:
About Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as the second largest savings provider and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.
Customers can manage their finances in branch, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 15,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.