How we’re using our unique position as a large, member-owned organisation, to attempt to support the UK in its recovery and its future.

What we're doing

As a mutual building society with a strong presence in our communities, we believe in the power of the collective; we can achieve more together than we can alone. These are the very principles on which we were founded.

As such, over the coming months we’ll be working with market research leaders, Ipsos MORI to examine the systemic issues caused as a result of the pandemic. And assembling likeminded organisations, across sectors, to help create solutions as we progress.

For our part, Nationwide will use the learnings as a call to action, to government and business, in working together to rebuild society, nationwide in a post pandemic world.

We're looking at the future of the UK across these four theme areas:

The future of home

After being locked up at home for many months, it’s no surprise that our needs from our homes may have changed. We want more space - indoors and outdoors; we are also more aware than ever of the heating inefficiencies and carbon impact of our homes.

Many renters are now even more eager to have a home of their own and those who aren’t have a right for safe, secure and decent property in which to live.

Older generations may be looking for ways to access the equity in their home and it needs to be easier for them.

At Nationwide we have stayed very active in the first-time buyer market throughout the pandemic; we’ve also created a £1 billion fund to support the greening of residential properties. But what more could we be doing together to help everybody have a place fit to call home in 2021 and beyond?

The future of work

Some are thriving at home. Some are missing the office. Surely there is a blend which provides an amazing and enriching combination of informal social interaction and efficient online transaction? But how do we get there?

Additionally, the importance of location has been all but obliterated. For example, we have Branch based representatives in Cornwall applying for jobs in digital strategy – no longer needing to be based in ‘Head Office’.

At Nationwide we have been taking a ‘preference-led approach’ to office or home working, but we feel we are learning as we are going.

Could we learn faster by connecting and sharing insights?

The future of community

The decline of the High Street as a transactional place has accelerated, but human beings will still want to congregate somewhere for social reasons.

We have extended our commitment to our branches to 2023.

We are also financing the development of a new housing community in Swindon.

Digital has leapt forward through Covid-19, but unless we want our children to view social development as living on social media in their bedrooms, we need to create places for them to thrive together.

The future of financial wellbeing

Debt was a problem before. For individuals, many local councils and indeed many countries. It is now much worse. Coupled with problems of financial literacy and a wave of unemployment still rising, this is a big problem. But we have also learned new ways to help people understand and manage their financial position. There are so many new and entrepreneurial ways to find work and income using technology.

Nationwide has had a longstanding commitment in this area, recently augmented through initiatives such as Open Banking for Good – looking at innovative ways to solve longstanding problems. But there must be millions more ideas out there that would advance by working together.