Nationwide puts public affairs brief out to pitch

Britain’s biggest building society Nationwide has put its public affairs account up for review as it steps up its campaign to ensure consumers have free access to cash machines.

The review ends LLM Communications’ five-year hold on the business, since the agency has declined to pitch. Nationwide public affairs manager Sarah Atkinson said the move was a ‘mutual decision’.

She described the brief as being ‘right across [Nationwide’s] agenda’ and that a shortlist of four agencies would be selected to pitch for the account in early December for a contract starting from the new year.

The Treasury Select Committee announced last month it was launching an enquiry into cash machines that charge customers making withdrawals.

Nationwide has been one of the few voices in the industry to fight the trend of cash machines that charge.

‘We need to lobby the Government to make it simpler to save and help rebuild consumers’ confidence and trust in the financial services industry,’ said Atkinson.

The society has also led industry calls to provide customers with clearer information on credit-card repayments.

It provides a ‘consumer box’ detailing the features and costs of its cards, similar to information that card issuers in the US are legally obliged to publish in their marketing materials.

Nationwide has more than ten million customers.

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