The building society will run press ads over the coming weeks spelling out the “reasons to come to us”, according to marketing director Andy McQueen. They will also seek to clear up the “confusion” over what the difference is between banks and buildings and societies, McQueen adds, adding “people think that they have no choice but they do and the biggest choice is Nationwide”.
Nationwide ran ads at the weekend inviting customers “who want an alternative” to their bank to “join the 15 million who have found one”. A TV campaign for savings alert service SavingsWatch is also currently running.
The building society and other financial services firms that stress their ethical or community approach to banking have seen account applications soar in the wake of the problems that left thousands of NatWest customers without their salaries and the interest-rate rigging scandal that led to the resignation of Barclays’ chief executive Bob Diamond. Nationwide enjoyed an 85% week on week increase in the number of customers opening and transferring their main account online in the final week of June, a pattern repeated in the weeks since.
McQueen insists that media spend has not “massively” increased but concedes that the timing of its activity presents opportunities. “People are looking for alternatives so there are opportunities to attract those that are open to account switching”.