Two-page ads are running in the national press today (28 May) with the names of its 15,000 staff under the headline “our most valuable assets”.
Copy at the bottom of the double page spread reads: “A big thank you to all our employees for a great year and for making us the number one financial brand for customer satisfaction on the high street”. The ad cites GFK research for the year to May based on interviews with 60,000 customers of the main high street banks who were asked to rank satisfaction levels.
The ads come as Nationwide posts a 113 per cent increase in pre-tax profit for the year to 31 March.
Its objective of providing a “meaningful alternative to the established banks” as highlighted in its long-running “you don’t need a bank…” marketing activity was credited for driving an 18 per cent increase in new current accounts opened in the year.
Recent data from Kantar found Nationwide attracted 10 per cent of people switching current accounts in April, the fourth highest after Santander, Halifax and Lloyds TSB.
An increase in mortgage lending and lower operational costs also lifted profit.
Chief executive Graham Beale says its reputation for service and for taking a “human” approach to banking – Nationwide was ranked first among financial services firms in a poll of “human” brands in February – was the reason for its success.
He says: “Over the past year there has been significant debate around the standards and reputation of the financial services sector. I am therefore delighted that we have been recognised as the strongest financial brand in the UK across a number of metrics.”
Nationwide is currently without a UK marketing director after the departure of Andy McQueen earlier this year.
Chief operating officer for marketing Stephen Leonard is sitting in on an interim basis.