21 July 2016
Nationwide Building Society has pledged to support first time buyers and regular savers in response to Brexit uncertainty.
Nationwide - the UK’s second largest mortgage and savings provider – has outlined a five-point action plan reflecting its position as the UK’s largest member-owned organisation. It is designed to protect the interests of first time buyers, maintain its top paying regular savings rate and safeguard the rates on its Help to Buy ISA and Save to Buy products, both of which are aimed at accelerating home ownership.
A Brexit consumer support group will also be established, combining Nationwide’s customer focus with representation from leading consumer bodies.
Nationwide’s Chief Executive, Joe Garner, speaking at the Society’s AGM in Gateshead today, said: “As a building society, we exist to help people into a home of their own and to help them manage their money and save for the future. Our mutual model means we’re able to plan and operate over the long term.
“In an uncertain economic climate, I believe that responsible and progressive businesses need to do more to help people realise their ambitions. With this in mind, I wanted to set out our five-point plan for how we will stand by our members and customers in uncertain times and help ensure that economic uncertainty doesn’t get in the way of the ladder of opportunity”.
Nationwide’s five-point plan:
1. Minimising costs for First Time Buyers: First time buyers who save with Nationwide in its Help to Buy ISA or Save to Buy products can already obtain benefits of up to £1,750. This is in addition to any Government Help to Buy ISA bonus. The Society commits to providing mortgages combining free conveyancing, free valuation, no application fees and cashback to minimise costs when borrowers are most stretched.
2. Maintaining low deposit lending: Nationwide will continue to provide mortgages for those with a 5% deposit with a specific focus on First Time Buyers and existing customers moving home. Members can save with confidence in the knowledge that, subject to our credit criteria, low deposit mortgages will be available for their first and subsequent homes. This will be done without requiring the support of Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee.
3. £10bn a year commitment available to first time buyers: The Society will make at least £10bn available to lend to first time buyers, prioritising over other markets where appropriate. This will enable an estimated 100,000 young people to become home owners for the first time each year. To further support consumer confidence, Nationwide will run a dedicated first time buyer outreach programme to help young people understand the housing market and the mortgage lending process.
4. A savers’ support package: Steps will be taken to encourage home buying and money management, even if base rates fall by 0.25%. These include a commitment to:
- Protect the rates on Nationwide’s Help to Buy ISA and Save to Buy products. This will help ensure the road to home ownership doesn’t get longer for those saving to buy their home.
- Maintain the present interest rates on its top paying Flexclusive Regular Saver Account.
5. A Brexit consumer support panel: Nationwide will invite a panel of leading consumer representatives (subject to their agreement) to give constructive solutions to the challenges facing consumers as the UK’s relationship with the EU emerges. This is intended to be drawn from leading consumer bodies. It is expected that this group will produce constructive recommendations based on consumer insight to help both ourselves and policymakers better understand the challenges households face and to respond to these. Nationwide’s member panel will be used to test and track sentiment and develop areas of further support.