In a surprising move weeks before the festive season, Nationwide, Britain’s largest building society, has informed 470 staff members that their jobs are at risk.

This significant restructuring is part of a comprehensive shake-up led by CEO Debbie Crosbie, aimed at streamlining head office operations.

Just under a month ago, Nationwide reported a substantial rise in half-year profits, reaching £989 million, benefitting from increased interest rates that allowed the lender to extract larger margins from borrowers.

CEO Debbie Crosbie’s recent decision to abandon the ‘work anywhere’ policy has also caused a stir among Nationwide’s workforce. Most staff members will be required to be in the office for a minimum of two days a week starting early next year.

The affected positions span across Nationwide’s chief operating office, retail operations, and its mortgages and financial wellbeing division. The Swindon-based institution, with approximately 18,000 employees, notified workers of the impending cuts last month, initiating consultations with staff.

Feelings of dissapointment

While Nationwide anticipates that around 200 employees will leave voluntarily, Tim Rose, general secretary of the Nationwide Group Staff Union, expressed disappointment. In a union newsletter, Rose acknowledged the potential opportunities for impacted employees to leave Nationwide with a severance package but emphasised the anxiety many face amid economic uncertainty and rising living costs.

A Nationwide spokesman defended the decision, stating the need for the organisation to become “more agile and efficient.” The spokesman revealed that the restructuring would result in approximately 200 departures, enabling increased investment in customer value and service.

What does the future look like?

Importantly, Nationwide assured that the announcement does not involve offshoring existing roles and will not impact customer-facing positions. The organisation is committed to minimising the impact on affected colleagues and providing the necessary support during this challenging period.

This announcement comes on the heels of a previous round of job cuts earlier this year, where Nationwide revealed plans to eliminate up to 450 positions. CEO Debbie Crosbie, who assumed her role in June of the previous year, received £3.46 million for her first ten months, including a £1.7 million bonus to compensate for forfeited bonuses from her previous employer, TSB.

Nationwide’s restructuring follows recent reports of another major lender, Barclays, planning to cut up to 2,000 roles, underscoring a broader trend of job cuts within the financial industry.

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.