22 April 2013
City presence marks latest chapter for world's biggest building society as it looks to get the most for its members by being the clear and compelling alternative to the big banks
A new era of mutuality was launched today as Nationwide Building Society unveiled a new flagship branch in the traditional heartland of banking.
The news was welcomed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who maintained the move would be a boost for competition in the capital.
Moving to the centre of the capital in Threadneedle Street, marks the latest journey for the 160-year-old mutual, which is headquartered in Swindon, as it continues to grow and build on its position as a clear and compelling alternative to the banks. As the world's biggest building society, Nationwide is the second largest savings provider and a top-three mortgage lender in the UK. A range of street activities are this week taking place to mark the branch opening.
Nationwide will shortly open seven floors of new office space above the branch as it becomes the first mutual to have a major presence in the bank-dominated City district - reinforcing a long-term commitment to fighting for a better deal for members rather than shareholders. Ideally located close to the Bank of England, the location will enable Nationwide to further relationships with regulators, investors and principal stakeholders, while continuing to serve members - something it has prided itself on since being founded.
Nationwide Chief Executive Graham Beale said: "I am pleased that Nationwide is opening a new branch in the heart of the City. Ethical values in financial services are becoming increasingly important and so it is a major milestone for the City to have a mutual at its core. Our mutual heritage means we are ideally placed to provide a compelling alternative to the established banks.
"As with the rest of our branch network, we will be offering an excellent portfolio of products and services combined with some of the best customer service on the high street. Our employees in the new branch will be looking forward to welcoming new and existing customers alike."
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "I am delighted to welcome Nationwide to the heart of London's financial district in an historic first for the company. As a mutual, Nationwide's arrival increases the diversity of world-class financial institutions based in the City, helping to keep this vital sector competitive and bringing jobs to the capital to boot. This move confirms London's draw as a home for businesses with ambitious plans for growth."
The new branch, which has benefited from a new design, is also being positioned as one of London's greenest as it stands in line to receive a top environmental rating from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Nationwide has helped lead the way in making the British high street greener by piloting the RICS Ska Rating for Retail scheme, with Threadneedle Street set to be the only branch in the capital to achieve Gold status to date and only the second in the UK after Nationwide's Oxford branch, which received an equivalent Gold status during the pilot stage.
To achieve the benchmark, Nationwide had to meet a number of criteria, including demonstrating that almost all materials in the building - from ATMs, seats and counters to walls, floors and doors - can be diverted from landfill. In addition, 80% of construction waste was recycled, 100% of wood used was sustainably sourced (FSC certified) and there will be between 25-30% energy cost savings through measures including low-usage lighting and water systems.
The Society's head office will continue to be based in Swindon, with major administration centres in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline.
Notes to editors:
- Nationwide has three other branches in the City of London, which are at the following locations: 101-107 City Road, 62-63 Cheapside and 135 Fenchurch Street.
- 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 members.
- Customers can manage their finances in a branch, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 16,000 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.