Published on: 21 March 2024

A message from our Chairman

I wrote to you earlier this month to say that the Board of Nationwide was considering making an offer to buy Virgin Money. I said I would provide you with more information once a decision had been made.

I am now pleased to confirm that Nationwide’s Board has carefully, and fully, considered this proposal. We have taken the comments received from members into account and examined thoroughly the information provided by Virgin Money.

The Board believes the acquisition offers compelling benefits for Nationwide’s current and future members. Accordingly, it has made a binding offer that Virgin Money’s directors intend to recommend be accepted by their shareholders. You can find full details of the offer and answers to key questions you may have.

This acquisition will strengthen Nationwide financially and presents an opportunity to accelerate our strategy. It delivers greater value for our members and broadens the range of services we offer to include those that many members have requested.

  • Acquiring the Virgin Money business will create a financially stronger building society with a larger customer and deposit base. We expect to use this financial strength to support the continued provision of savings and lending rates for members in the future that are, on average, better than across the market in general.
  • Nationwide will acquire a strong personal lending business and credit card range.
  • For a while, we have considered how to extend the benefit of our mutual model to include business banking. This acquisition will bring the established business banking services of Virgin Money within the Nationwide Group. In the long term, we would make these, and accounts for clubs and charities, available to our members.
  • As a result of the acquisition, we will increase the size of the Group’s branch network. We will also extend our Branch Promise by two years, meaning that everywhere we have a Nationwide branch, we promise to still be there until at least the start of 2028.

The Board remains wholly committed to remaining a building society and a modern mutual that meets more of its customers’ and members’ banking needs. All customers will become part of a combined group with a clear focus on providing simply brilliant service to its customers.

Last year Nationwide was able to make its first Fairer Share Payment to eligible members. We expect that a financially stronger combined Group would make future payments more likely, but these would only be to eligible Nationwide members and not to Virgin Money customers.

The integration of the two businesses would be undertaken carefully over several years, and it will be designed to avoid disrupting services or customers.

The Board believes that the benefits that this acquisition will bring to our current and future members are substantial and could not be delivered by Nationwide on its own.

We will keep you updated on progress through our News hub and in our regular newsletter. You can sign up to receive the newsletter, by updating your preferences.

As ever, we will continue to focus on delivering our Purpose: Banking – but fairer, more rewarding and for the good of society.

Thank you for being a member.

Yours sincerely,

Kevin Parry

Answers to key questions

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