Political involvement statement
At Nationwide our business interests are driven by a desire to promote the interests of Nationwide and our customers. This statement outlines how we ensure our political involvement is appropriate, monitored and supports our commitment to making positive contributions to society.
This area of our website offers information about some of the things we do as a responsible business. Find out more about what makes us different.
What's on this page
Our purpose and values
Our purpose and core mutual values underpin our commitment to operate from a position of integrity. We are further guided by:
- the fundamental aims set out in the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) (opens in a new window) promotion of justice and human rights
- our affiliation with the United Nations (UN) Global Compact
- the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Principles for Responsible Banking (opens in a new window).
In addition to this guidance, we ensure we listen to our customers and our colleagues. We hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to allow members to have their say. We also host Community Boards across the UK to support local initiatives (opens in a new window). We regularly engage with our colleagues regarding their needs via internal surveys and through work with our trade union.
The scope of our statement
- This document only applies to Nationwide Building Society.
- It is approved by Nationwide’s Director of Brand, Marketing & Experience.
Nationwide is politically neutral and does not support, or seek to influence public support for, any political party. We engage constructively on issues in the interests of Nationwide, its employees, and its customers.
Our political engagement includes, but is not limited to:
- responding to public consultations to convey Nationwide’s position on key matters
- branch visits to discuss local initiatives and charity work
- providing representatives before select committee and parliamentary group hearings where requested.
- meeting with policymakers (including civil servants) to develop and influence government policy.
- attending political party conferences.
We ensure that the information and insights we produce in our political engagement efforts are up-to-date, complete, and not misleading.
Employees’ political activities and affiliations
Nationwide does not control, direct or influence any employee’s political activities or affiliations. Employees may only offer support or contributions to political groups in a personal capacity. Our Conflicts of Interest Policy underpins the need for employees to maintain separation between their work and political activity.
Employees are permitted to attend council business during work hours. However, this is entirely in a personal capacity and Nationwide does not seek to influence local or regional politics through an employee’s political activities. This is done in line with industry best practice.
We acknowledge that many Members of Parliament (MPs) will have a personal banking relationship with Nationwide.
We do not make donations, contributions or subscription payments to any political party. The only exception to this is where attendance at political party conferences requires the purchasing of corporate passes. In addition to this, we may sponsor events run by respected think tanks with charitable status. This is always done publicly and transparently. These purchases are not undertaken with political affiliation in mind, but with the sole intention of representing Nationwide and conveying the policy positions of Nationwide. The Electoral Commission outlines what constitutes a donation (opens in a new window).
We are subject to internal monitoring of our political engagement budget, and audits of our political engagement activities. This oversight is supported by our Financial Crime Prevention Policy that seeks to protect Nationwide and our customers from illicit activity which would undermine the UK political system.
In addition, our Gifts and Hospitality Policy governs the process and approval procedures for gifts, travel and other privileges.
Integrity and behaviour
All employees undertaking political engagement activity are expected to adhere to internal policies and standards. A non-exhaustive list of these policies and standards include our:
- Code of Conduct
- Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
- Whistleblowing Policy
- Financial Crime Prevention Policy
Nationwide will also ensure that third parties abide by similar ethical standards if undertaking political engagement activity on behalf of Nationwide. Where a breach of the rules is suspected, Nationwide maintains a Whistleblowing Policy to allow colleagues to report concerns.
Political engagement and campaigning
Any political engagement or campaigning activity must be:
- carried out in line with local laws
- recorded as appropriate
- logged on respective parliamentary registers where required.
Our Market Abuse Policy governs employee behaviour in regard to lobbying activity and the sharing of commercially sensitive information.
We are members of groups which can and do carry out political engagement and campaigning. This includes the Building Societies Association (opens in a new window) and UK Finance (opens in a new window).
Public Policy Prospectus
As the UK’s largest building society, Nationwide holds a unique position in UK financial services. We seek to deliver valuable banking products and services and mutual good to our customers. Nationwide’s Public Policy Prospectus outlines how we’d like to work with policymakers to help deliver fairer banking for everyone.
Last updated: December 2023