Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Closure threat looms over 150 Nationwide agencies

The future of around 150 Nationwide Building Society agencies is under threat, it was reported today.

The mutual is understood to be considering axing its network of agencies based with firms such as solicitors and estate agents in a move that could impact hundreds of workers.

Nationwide's agency network trades under the Nationwide banner, as well as the Cheshire, Derbyshire and Dunfermline brands, although staff that man the counters are not directly employed by Nationwide.

The counters operate within firms such as estate agencies, solicitor offices and financial advisory firms, providing basic banking services to local communities that often do not have a dedicated bank branch.

A statement on agency closures could come as soon as tomorrow, according to weekend media reports.

The decision would come just two months after Lloyds Banking Group said it was closing its 265-strong network of Halifax-branded agencies as part of an ongoing cost-cutting drive.

Lloyds said the agency business has declined by almost a half since 2005. It will begin closing the counters from October 4.

Nationwide remained tight-lipped on plans for its agencies, however.