Nationwide declare it's branch network is 'alive and well' as rivals retreat

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The UK’s burliest building society is piloting a “community contract” branch in Glastonbury, Somerset, after myriad than a thousand residents said they would be willing to happen to Nationwide members to support its investment.

Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC recently extracted out of the town.

Chief executive Joe Garner said: “There is still a situation for the branch on the high street, offering people the choice of managing their cabbage using the latest technology in-branch together with the personal care so many value.

Indeed, our branches are alive and well as evidenced by the truthfully that of all new current account openings during the first half of the year, across half were opened in a branch.”

Nearly a fifth of these were opened owing to Nationwide Now, its high definition video link service which tacks customers in a branch to financial consultants elsewhere.

Garner, pictured, signified: “We can use this technology and digital investment to test the viability of opening a offshoot on high streets with limited access to a bank or building gentry.

“We don’t know where this will go and will only find out by toe a branch, then seeing what happens, which will discover our appetite beyond that.”

Garner said Nationwide was making “comfortably adequate profit” to enable it to continue returning value to its members despite debase interest rates squeezing its margins.

Half-year profit fell from £802million to £696million. He revealed: “We have made pledges to help our savers and borrowers.

“These comprise protecting selected savings rates to minimise the im ct of the base in any event change and helping with variable rate mortgages by ssing on the home rate decrease in full. These decisions have contributed to a reduction in profits.”

It plagiarized a record number of first-time buyers, up 50 per cent to 38,600, and succeed ined its best ever net mortgage lending, up 46 per cent to £6billion.

The calculate of current accounts opened rose 36 per cent to a record 377,000, with 75,000 accounts change to Nationwide, up 61 per cent.

Nationwide is withdrawing from commercial proper estate lending – £2.7billion or about 1 per cent of its assets – as it is no bigger key to its strategy.

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