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Nationwide Ranked Best Major High Street Financial Services Provider in UK by Customers

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 12/03/13 -- Nationwide Building Society has been recognised as the best major high street financial services provider by customers(i) - putting it in the top 10 per cent of all UK brands.

This year's Customer Experience Excellence Survey from Nunwood - one of the world's largest surveys of its type - reviewed the UK's top 260 brands by talking to around 7,500 customers and ranking them on the customer service provided. The results, which are not simply based on brand perception, follow Nationwide's recent interim results announcement that highlighted pre-tax profits of GBP 270 million, demonstrating that the Society's excellent customer experience goes hand-in-hand with its commercial success.

Nationwide, which has around 15 million members, climbed 26 places to 26 overall in the national poll and is the only one of the UK's top six financial retail providers to feature in the top 100 .

Britain's largest building society has consistently delivered a high level of customer service, and this year launched a number of new initiatives that have further increased its lead, according to Nunwood. These include a suite of current accounts to meet the changing needs of customers - FlexDirect(1) account pays 5% AER in-credit interest on balances up to GBP 2,500 for a year for customers who prefer to do their banking online or over the phone, while FlexPlus(2) offers a number of benefits for just GBP 10 a month as Nationwide's first packaged account. Other introductions include a Loyalty Saver product, which rewards Nationwide members with an interest rate linked to the length of their membership; a highly-rated mobile banking app and a new Homebuyers Companion app providing potential homebuyers and sellers a range of resources on their smartphones.

Nationwide is able to focus on maintaining and improving customer experience through PRIDE - an internal set of values that underpin its culture, which in turn shapes how employees support customers. The mutual also regularly tracks and measures what its customers think about its service delivery across the business, using the findings to help solve problems and make improvements.

Nationwide's Director of Customer Experience, Jenny Groves, said: "We are delighted to be recognised as the best major high street financial retailer for customer experience. Nationwide strives to deliver an exceptional and uncomplicated service that sets us apart from our competitors. Our status as a mutual helped us achieve this result as we put the customer at the heart of everything we do."

Notes to editors:

About the UK Customer Experience Excellence Survey 2013

Nunwood's Customer Experience Excellence Survey is one of the largest, most robust customer experience surveys in the world and this is its fourth year running. Its findings are based on 7,481 individual responses, talking across 260 UK brands. Most importantly, each response is based on feedback from actual customers. It is not based on simply brand perception. The UK CEE Report ranks the top 100 UK brands by the customer experience they provide, and is a celebration of excellence, highlighting the brands which go above and beyond the call of duty.

List of financial services brands that finished in the UK CEE top 100:


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                                                                Rank Diff vs
Brand                               Rank 2013      Rank 2012            2012
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First Direct                                3              4              +1
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M&S Bank                                   23            NEW             NEW
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Nationwide                                 26             52             +26
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Green Flag                                 34              8             -26
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Skipton                                    36            NEW             NEW
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RAC                                        43             38              -5
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Yorkshire Building Society                 50             65             +15
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LV=                                        54            NEW             NEW
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Hargreaves Landsdown                       67            NEW             NEW
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Sainsburys Bank                            83             62             -21
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PostOffice                                 92             82             -10
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tesco-Bank                                 96             85             -11
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(i) With around 700 branches, Nationwide Building Society is regarded as a 'major high street financial services provider'. Of the providers which were ranked higher, first direct is only available to online customers while M&S Bank provides around 29 outlets throughout the UK.

About Nunwood

Nunwood is the UK's first full service customer experience management company, and has a track record of improving the experience for millions of consumers across the world.

Nunwood combines customer insight, analytics, consultancy and frontline training with state of the art CEM technology to help dozens of major global brands. Nunwood's Customer Experience Excellence Centre is one of the largest international studies of best practice.

About Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million members.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 15,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

FlexDirect and FlexPlus

(1) FlexDirect: FlexDirect pays 5.00% AER (4.89% gross p.a) in-credit interest on balances up to GBP 2,500. This rate is fixed for 12 months and then reverts to 1.00% gross p.a./AER variable. You must pay GBP 1,000 or more (excluding internal transfers) into the account each month to receive in-credit interest. Rates may be withdrawn without notice. Interest is calculated daily.

(2) FlexPlus: FlexPlus Worldwide travel insurance is provided by UK Insurance Limited. Worldwide Mobile phone insurance is arranged and administered by Lifestyle Services Group Limited and underwritten by London General Insurance Company Limited. UK & European Breakdown and Recovery Assistance is provided by Britannia Rescue and underwritten by Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited.

Find recent press releases and photos at the Nationwide Media Centre: www.nationwide.co.uk/mediacentre

Twitter: @NationwidePress

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/NationwideBSocietyUK

Contacts:
Nationwide
Eden Black
0207 2616517
eden.black@nationwide.co.uk

Nationwide
Nicholas Burns-Howell
01793 658518
nicholas.burns-howell@nationwide.co.uk

Nunwood
Rory Mason at Wolfstar Consultancy
0845 838 7282
rory@wolfstarconsultancy.com

Nunwood
Tim Sinclair at Wolfstar Consultancy
0845 838 7282
tim@wolfstarconsultancy.com

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