Biographies

Our spokespeople

Click on the spokesperson for their biography. Photos of spokespeople can be found in the photo library.

Spokespeople can be contacted via the press office on 01793 655198.

Joe Garner

Chief Executive 

Joe Garner

Joe joined Nationwide in April 2016 from BT Group where he was Chief Executive of Openreach, a position he held from early 2014.

Prior to this Joe was a director of HSBC Bank PLC and Head of HSBC in the UK, roles which included responsibility for all of HSBC's retail and commercial banking business, including Marks and Spencer Bank, First Direct and The John Lewis Partnership Card. He has also held senior positions at Dixons Stores Group and spent the early part of his career at Procter and Gamble.

In May 2016 Joe was appointed as a member of the FCA's Practitioner Panel. Joe was previously appointed to the FSA Practitioner Panel in 2011 and was Chairman between 2012 and 2013. Joe was also a Non-Executive Director of the Financial Ombudsman Service from 2007-2010. He is currently Chairman of the British Triathlon Foundation Trust.

Robert Gardner

Chief Economist

Robert Gardner

Robert and his team provide economic analysis and advice to key decision makers in Nationwide. The team is focused on developments in the UK economy, with a particular emphasis on the mortgage and savings markets.

As the external spokesperson for the Nationwide House Price Index, Robert is frequently quoted in the media and often appears on Radio and TV and speaks at a range of internal and external events.

Prior to joining Nationwide, Robert was the Head of Macroeconomics at RBS, where his team was responsible for providing economic analysis and forecasts for the UK, US and major Eurozone economies. During his career he also worked for Barclays, where he was responsible for analysis of emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. He has also worked as an economic adviser at HM Treasury.

Sara Bennison

Chief Product & Marketing Officer

Sara Bennision

Sara was appointed as Chief Marketing Officer in March 2016 and now leads the Product and Marketing Community. Her responsibilities span brand, advertising, market research, insight, marketing, internal communications and social investment, alongside Nationwide’s product range.

Previously Sara was CMO at Barclays Personal and Corporate Bank and had held senior roles at BT and a number of major advertising agencies in the UK and Asia.

Sara takes an active role in the advertising industry. She is Vice President of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, a member of the Industry Advisory Panel for the Advertising Standards Authority and Treasurer of the Front Foot Initiative for the Advertising Association. She is also a Fellow of the Marketing Society and, in 2016, was recognised as Financial Services Marketer of the Year by the Financial Services Forum.

Chris Rhodes

Chief Financial Officer

Chris Rhodes

Chris joined Nationwide in April 2009 from Abbey Santander.

Chris is currently Chief Financial Officer, leading the Finance and Efficiency Community, which is accountable for supply chain management, financial planning, stress testing, capital management, financial reporting, financial controls and operations, treasury, efficiency and cost management.

Chris has spent over 25 years working in the financial services sector and his previous positions include deputy managing director of Girobank and retail operations director of Alliance and Leicester. In 2003 he was appointed as managing director retail banking for the entire Alliance and Leicester Group. In 2007 Chris moved to become group finance director, a role he held until the merger with Santander in 2008.


For press and media, please contact the Media Team

For all press and media enquiries or if you want to be added to our press list, please contact the media relations team.
Telephone: 01793 655198. (Media enquiries only - for all other enquiries please dial 0800 30 20 11).