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Good honest banking
Nationwide Building Society
Member Name: bobbieal
Nationwide Building Society
Date: 02/01/12, updated on 25/09/12 (73 review reads)
Advantages: Good reliable friendly service
Disadvantages: Slightly lower than top interest rates on savings and no interest on current account
I have been a customer of Nationwide since 1997 when I opened a Flex account. I also have bank accounts with several of the other big banks and so am able to compare the service and products at Nationwide with the others available.
The first thing to note is that Nationwide is not owned by share holders, so there are no dividend to pay. This means that the bank is not driven to make huge profits to pay their share holders and board members at the expense of their customers. Of course, they have to make money, but the driving force behind the bank is quite different from, for example, Lloyds.
The Flexaccount is Nationwide's current account and it provides a debit card, cheque book and great internet banking with card reader security. I find the internet banking very easy to use. I can pay bills, transfer money, set up and cancel standing orders and direct debits or just check my balance. Unfortunately, like a lot of banks, there is no interest payable on the Flexaccount but it is easy to set up an internet saver for any extra cash that you'd like to earn interest on but need to keep handy for paying bills. However, there is free European travel insurance if you make Nationwide your main current account and pay in at least £750 per month, but check the T&Cs to see if it meets your needs.
In addition, there are now a number of 'Flexclusive' offers if you have your main current account with them. This basically means that you must pay in £750 per month and either fill in an account switching form or have had the account for some time (>1 year) and have at least 2 direct debits coming out of your account. Current offers include a fantastic 6% regular saver account, with the rate fixed until 31 October 2013; £50m cashback on car insurance; 20% off home and contents insurance. However, these offers change all the time so it is worth checking their website every so often to make sure you are getting the most from your account.
The Flexaccount is fee free but it pays no interest on credit balances.
I frequently go into my local branch. The people there are really helpful and have been able to sort out the inevitable problems that occur over 14 years of banking. Of course, I cannot comment on every branch but, if mine is typical, I can recommend them.
Like all bank, Nationwide's rates of interest change depending on the market and their needs. I have found their rates are consisantly above average but rarely the highest on the market. I have had bonds, instant access savings accounts, regular savings accounts, credit cards and ISAs with the Nationwide over the time I have been with them. All of them have been handled well, from opening to closure or transfer.
Your money is safe. All FSCS banks are covered by the UK compensation scheme for total deposits of up to £85,000. Nationwide is part of the scheme and so you can have a total of £85,000 per person and be fully covered in the very unlikley event of Nationwide going bust.
Summary: Good, honest, helpful banking