Get by with a little financial help from our friends

28 July 2015

  • Six in ten find financial advice from friends helpful, while a third listen through gritted teeth
  • Nearly a third of Brits have met five or fewer online friends face-to-face in the last 12 months

New research from Nationwide Building Society shows that more than six in ten people (62%) happily listen to their friends for money advice, while around a third (31%) are left irritated by anyone telling them how to budget better.

To give friends a helping hand with their finances, Nationwide is extending its offer for customers recommending their friends to Nationwide. The Society is offering existing current account customers1 the chance to earn up to £100 for each successful referral when a friend switches2, up to a maximum of ten each year, enabling them to potentially earn £1,000. The recommended friend also receives £100 for switching their account to Nationwide3.

The poll, which gauges the state of the nation’s friendships, shows that most people (70%) have a close circle of up to four lifelong friends, while a fifth (20%) claim to have no friends at all. Interestingly, the rise of social media has dramatically affected the way we interact with friends, with research showing seven in ten people (70%) confessed to having only seen 25 or fewer of their online buddies in the last year, while more than three in ten Brits (31%) have met five or fewer. A further seven per cent said they hadn’t spoken to any of their virtual friends offline in the past 12 months.

Despite the majority of people accepting financial advice from friends - even if they do find it annoying - eight per cent of respondents said they would tell them to mind their own business. Money can also cause rifts between friends, with nearly one in five (18%) saying they have fallen out over finances. The main reasons cited were friends taking too long to repay or not paying money back.

Phil Smith, Nationwide’s Head of Current Accounts, said: “Whether our friends are online, at work or down the pub, they are often our best sounding boards for valued, unbiased advice. However, talking about our money is clearly one of the most personal and sensitive topics for discussion, which is perhaps why many find any unsolicited advice uncomfortable.

“Our £100 offer is a great opportunity to benefit from friendship, with both the customer and friend being rewarded. Our customers are our biggest advocates, which is why we choose to not only reward those that switch to Nationwide, but also our existing customers who recommend us.”

Notes to Editors

Full details on Nationwide’s current accounts

Recommend a Friend details

Terms and conditions apply:

  • Payments are made once the account transfer has completed. It will arrive in the customers’ current account the following month. If more than friend has been referred, the payments will be made separately, once each account has been opened.
  • Customers can refer up to ten friends per annum and Nationwide will pay a maximum of £1,000 within any 12 month period.
  • Cash Card and FlexOne account holders are not eligible for this offer.
  • If the switch completes after 31 August 2015 and all other conditions are met, both parties will receive the standard £50 Recommend a Friend switching incentive.
  • Payment will be made on 20th day of the following month after the switch has completed.
  • Customers must be 18 or over to apply for a FlexAccount, FlexDirect or FlexPlus.

This offer is only available to our existing current account customers (excluding our employees) who hold either a FlexAccount, FlexDirect or FlexPlus Account. Cash Card and FlexOne account holders are not eligible for this offer.

To benefit from the offer, the referred friend must successfully switch their main current account (including a minimum of two direct debits) to the Society using the Current Account Switch Service.

3 Nationwide reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any time

Full terms and conditions

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers 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 a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 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.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.