Open Banking for Good as Nationwide kickstarts challenge to close the growing financial capability gap

11 July 2018


  • Nationwide puts weight behind major campaign to improve financial capability
  • Open Banking for Good aims to close financial capability gap in the UK
  • Forms part of Government’s Inclusive Economy Partnership, announced today
  • Nationwide will work with Nesta, Doteveryone, Money Advice Trust and Accenture
  • Builds on Nationwide’s social purpose by supporting those who most need it

“Open Banking can benefit those who most need help managing their money. We want to help make that happen”

Nationwide Chief Executive Joe Garner

One in four households* could benefit from a challenge being established by Nationwide Building Society, aimed at creating apps and services that improve financial capability for those struggling.

Nationwide - the world’s biggest building society - has today announced how it will work with Government and business through the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) - a collaboration between businesses, civil society and government departments to solve some of society’s toughest challenges.

The IEP aims to bring together willing and determined like-minded organisations to enable positive change across all communities. For Nationwide, this is relevant to how people ‘bank’, given the seismic changes impacting the way the nation transacts, such as Open Banking – the platform that enables banks and building societies to enhance their digital offerings through an ecosystem of third party applications and services.

Nationwide, which is the UK’s second largest savings and mortgage provider, will build on its social purpose by challenging the fintech community to develop Open Banking technology that helps improve the lives of the one in four UK households* who are financially squeezed – equivalent to 12.7 million people.

Launching in September, Open Banking for Good will convene some of the brightest minds in established fintechs and start-ups, through to innovators and debt and money charities. The challenge is supported by Accenture, with selection panel members including Sir John Gieve (Chairman of Nesta); Joanna Elson OBE (Chief Executive, Money Advice Trust) Rachel Coldicutt (CEO, Doteveryone) and Julian Skan (Senior Managing Director, Accenture Strategy).

Open Banking has the potential to help better connect people with their overall financial information. However, it could also leave people behind if organisations purely focus on profit rather than purpose. Open Banking for Good is looking to harness this new technology to help solve some of the biggest financial challenges facing society, such as debt, managing money and the ability to save.

The fintech community will be invited to develop Open Banking solutions that make a difference to people’s lives, in the knowledge that an estimated 85 per cent of adults either own or have access to a smartphone. The winners of the challenge, which will launch in September, could receive investment and support from Nationwide, in addition to the credibility and trust associated with the mutual’s brand. Working in partnership, the Society will look to scale up the idea and use its position in the market to ensure it is able to launch successfully – whether to the society’s 15 million members or beyond.

Joe Garner, Nationwide’s Chief Executive, said: “As a mutual we believe in the power of collaboration – that we achieve more together than we can alone. That’s why the Inclusive Economy Partnership is a welcome initiative and a natural fit for Nationwide.

“There could be more than 12 million people in the country who are only just keeping their heads above water in terms of their finances. Just one or two right or wrong financial decisions can make all the difference between financial health and spiralling debt.

“We believe Open Banking presents a huge opportunity to help people manage their money better and support a more inclusive financial services sector. We’re looking for innovators to come forward with ideas to help people living on a financial knife edge – with no savings or relying heavily on credit.

“As an industry, we can use Open Banking to benefit those who most need help. Which is why we are focused on harnessing the latest technological innovation to help transform financial capability for millions of people in the UK.”

Oliver Dowden MP CBE, Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office: “The Partnership presents an exciting opportunity to innovate for social good. Through collaboration we can create, test and scale ideas that have the potential to transform the lives of citizens across the UK."

Notes to Editors:

* source: Money Advice Service

About the Money Advice Trust
The Money Advice Trust is a charity which helps people across the UK tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence. The Trust provides free advice to individuals and small business owners through National Debtline and Business Debtline, supports the advice sector and credit industry through its training services, and improves the UK’s money and debt environment through policy, research and awareness raising campaigns.

About Nesta
Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833. www.nesta.org.uk | @nesta_uk
Harriet Stowe - Press Officer - +44 (0) 20 7438 2543 or harriet.stowe@nesta.org.uk

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 449,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
Natalie de Freitas – Media Relations - +44 (0)7988 165 382

About Doteveryone
Doteveryone is a London based think tank that champions responsible technology for the good of everyone in society. Their work explores how technology is changing society, shows what responsible technology can look like, and builds communities and networks to improve the way technology shapes our world.
Doteveryone was founded by Martha Lane Fox and is staffed by a team of researchers, designers, technologists and makers. www.doteveryone.org.uk @doteveryoneuk

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.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.