Physical health takes second place to financial wellbeing

16 September 2016

  • More of us want to speak to someone about our finances (61%) than health (58%)
  • Seven in ten (70%) want to speak to someone face-to-face for money matters
  • Half (50%) wouldn’t use a bank or building society if entirely branchless
  • Few would ever make complex financial decisions by getting online pensions advice (19%) stocks and shares advice (23%) or applying for a mortgage online (24%)

According to new research from Nationwide Building Society nearly two thirds (61%) of Brits say discussing financial matters is more important that seeking health advice (58%).

The majority of people (74%) are happy to do simple things like transferring money and opening an account online (59%), but when it comes to big life decisions, 70% still feel that the need to see the whites of someone’s eyes.

For more complicated life decisions, only 19% would be happy to get online pension advice, only 23% would be willing to invest money in stocks and shares and only 24% would apply for a mortgage without talking to someone.

This is perhaps why 95% of people surveyed believe it is important for businesses to offer the option of face-to-face service with half (50%) preferring the option of having a branch on the high street. For many, having the chance to ask questions (74%) as well as feeling that you gain a better understanding through a face to face explanation (64%) are the main benefits people get from this level of interaction.

Graeme Hughes, Group, Distribution at Nationwide, says: “When it comes to planning for our future, we want to know that that we’re making the right decisions to make the most of our money. Digital technology has revolutionised many everyday tasks, especially managing our finances. But as much as technology provides welcome shortcuts, people remain the backbone of delivering service.

“This is why we have committed to invest £500 million in our branches over five years, with new layouts and designs and pioneering services such as Nationwide Now which gives people access to a range of services more quickly and more conveniently. This will, alongside our continued investment in digital services, continue to provide choice, convenience and access for our members, helping them to get long term value for their financial needs.”

Research carried out for Nationwide by OnePoll amongst 2,000 UK adults (29.03.2016)

Nationwide is investing £500m in its branch network over the next five years. This will see the redefinition of the role of branch. New layouts and designs which will enable more face to face conversations. Pioneering Nationwide Now technology in 398 branches, free Wi-Fi and access to tablet technology, new ATM technology and longer hours in some locations where there is customer demand.

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.

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