Nationwide winning the current account war
More and more dissatisfied banking customers are making the switch, according to figures from Nationwide that report 365,000 new current account openings at the building society in the past year.
So what is the draw to Nationwide and could you benefit from switching too?
Current account openings have reached a record high at Nationwide and 123,000 customers switched their main banking relationship to the building society in 2012/2013, an increase of 58% on the previous year.
Chris Rhodes, Nationwide's Executive Director, said: "Dissatisfaction with the big banks is leading people to vote with their feet. We opened new current accounts at a rate of one thousand per day over the last year and many of these were people switching from another provider. These results show that Nationwide really is the main challenger to the big banks."
What's on offer?
Nationwide is challenging the big banks with two new current accounts. First up is FlexDirect - a self-service, non-fee paying account, which pays a market leading 5.0% AER, and FlexPlus – a £10-a-month packaged current account that includes worldwide travel insurance, mobile phone insurance and UK and European breakdown cover. The long-standing FlexAccount remains popular, offering customers free European travel insurance when they use it as their main current account.
Easy to switch
Moving your current might seem daunting but it can be surprisingly quick and straightforward as most banks now have a dedicated switching team. Nationwide offers an Account Transfer Promise to customers that switch to the building society – promising to contact customers' direct debit providers within ten working days, and offering £100 if the process is held up. Text updates keep customers informed of progress and provide reassurance that the process is going smoothly.
Banking on the go
With a growing demand for customers to be able to manager their money on the move, Nationwide launched its mobile banking app November 2012. The app has since been downloaded by over 500,000 members and is being used by many on a daily basis to access and manage their Nationwide accounts.
"Nationwide has great products and a strong reputation for excellent service," adds Rhodes. "We hope this will lead to many more people divorcing their banks and starting a new relationship with Nationwide."