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Thoughts on Nationwide?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
16 replies 2.2K views
4 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
There’s a lot of fanfare around Nationwide and a lot of people singing it’s praises and how it’s better because it’s a building society not a bank, and how all their offerings are excellent.

What’s everyone else’s thoughts? Is it a real challenger ?


  • Zero_SumZero_Sum Forumite
    1.6K posts
    They pay 5% on balances upto £2,500 (only for a year) but does have a linked regular saver also paying 5% whats not to like?

    The rest is a bit meh, savings rates used to be decent but have dropped off in recent years. Mind i do have an instant access ISA paying 1.4% but they didnt make that available for that long.

    I do have my mortgage with them. Couldve got slightly better elsewhere but wouldve lost my overpayment benifit & also they paid a retention bonus which effectively brought the rate down a bit.
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
    72.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    What services are you expecting your bank to provide?
    “Markets have been so good for so long, that many investors are trivialising the advanatages of actively managing portfolio risk" - Gervais Williams
  • C_MababejiveC_Mababejive Forumite
    11.4K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Their rates are as paltry as any others. It isnt their fault. They were recently whining about not making enough profit and so they cut interest rates. Why would anyone save with anyone now? its lunacy. Get some (manageable) debt .
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • RichyRichRichyRich Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I have my joint current account and my mortgage with Nationwide. They're OK and existing members get a slightly better deal on mortgage rates than those offered to the public. In my case this made my latest 2 year fix 0.1% less than the market's lowest. Happy days.

    The only real gripe I've had with them is that a few years ago I needed to make a payment and rang them up and they said they don't do phone payments. This was before I had the app, and I don't carry the calculator thing for online banking around with me. The app pretty much resolves this issue, though.

    Online banking is good although you can't pick your own user name which is a minor irritation.

    They have a good regular saver too.
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  • MalchesterMalchester Forumite
    191 posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Been with Nationwide for 30 years. Some products are ok - current account, online banking, app etc. However their claims to offer loyal members special rates leaves a lot to be desired. Their special loyalty rates are a lot lower than standard rates with many other institutions. Only occasionally do they have something worth having - that is why I keep my current account going just in case.
  • EachPennyEachPenny Forumite
    12.2K posts
    bellalloyd wrote: »
    There’s a lot of fanfare around Nationwide and a lot of people singing it’s praises and how it’s better because it’s a building society not a bank, and how all their offerings are excellent.

    What’s everyone else’s thoughts? Is it a real challenger ?
    It is a bank which calls itself a Building Society. (legally it is a BS, but there is more to being a mutual than how you are legally constituted).

    It offers some very attractive deals to new customers, but don't fall for the 'Loyalty' spin - after 15 years membership you get 1.1% on an instant access account, Tesco will give a brand new customer 1.4%.

    Their advertising budget must be phenomenal - every pound spent on advertising is a pound less to share with members in the form of more competitive interest rates (savings/ loans/mortgages).

    They are slowly withdrawing 'perks' which were available for existing customers. For example the FlexAccount used to come with free travel insurance. This is not available for new customers, and existing customers will lose the benefit if they forget to pay at least £750 into their account each month. Their Regular Saver account used to allow a monthly deposit of £500, this was cut to £250 with very little notice. They also cut the cashback on their credit card to 0.25%.

    Even on 'paid for' accounts the benefits are being cut back -

    If you are attracted by the "building society not a bank" (mutuality) you might want to consider that the CEO has a salary, bonus and pension package worth £2,100,000 per year - and gets additional perks (car allowance, medical cover) of £595 per day. This generous level of remuneration does not trickle down to staff at lower levels... i.e. the ones who really make a mutual what it is.

    So in summary, if you want to make a quick buck (and don't fancy your chances becoming the next CEO) then you can make an easy £100 (each) being recommended by a friend, you can earn 5% on £2500 for the first year in a FlexDirect account, and 5% on £250/mth in a regular saver. They also do a good 1st year deal on their Select credit card, and some mortgage rates are preferential. Be very wary of their insurance products (I've never found them to be the cheapest) and don't use them if you are looking for a bank paying a decent interest rate on a larger amount of savings.

    Other than that they are brilliant. Or at least they will be when the senior management finally remember what 'mutual' actually means. :o
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
  • longleggedhairlongleggedhair Forumite
    389 posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I ended up as a member some years ago after they paid us former members of Portman Building Society off. I was shocked at how awful the service was compared to Portman.

    I still have that old account with them and find them terribly slow and backwards. Massive queues, having to fill in a paper slip accounting down to the last penny every time you pay in....poor interest rates, not to mention the huge sums the executives are being paid. I would advise anyone to avoid them.
  • colstencolsten Forumite
    13.8K posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    Six in one and half a dozen in the other. All of them have some good offers as some stages, and all of them have carp offers most of the time. As they should have, all of them have a business relationship with you, and that's how you should treat them, too. Purely a business arrangement, not some sort of an emotional bond. Don't ever rely on any of them as your sole source of banking facilities as all of them might get into trouble and you could end up with no money for a period of time. If you have savings, move them regularly to wherever you can get the best interest rates.

    I have been a Nationwide account holder for many years. I also have accounts with Santander, Lloyds, FD, HSBC, Natwest, BoS, YB, YBS, KRBS, Ford Money, Virgin Money and a few others. I use whichever gives me the best deal for whatever it is I need at the time.
  • pmdukpmduk Forumite
    10.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    If things go wrong their customer services an complaints service is just appalling, they'll regularly lose files, tell contradictory stories to the FOS. I'll never go near them again.
  • newatcnewatc Forumite
    620 posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I've been with them for over 40 years and regard them as my main bank but also have accounts witjh several others. When asked about them my response is that they are the best of a bad lot.
    Agree with what's been said about poor "loyalty" rates and over remunerated executives.
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