Merger sees mixed reaction from industry pundits

Rob Clifford, chief executive of mortgageforce\"It\'s a shame the Cheshire and the Derbyshire have gone but Nationwide is a class act and if any mutuals are seeking consolidation it is an obvious and sensible choice.\"

Mike Lazenby, chief executive of Kent Reliance”Everyone is saying you have to be big to survive but that’s not true. We are much smaller than the Cheshire and the Derbyshire but we’re having our best year ever. Size is a smokescreen.”

Andrew Montlake, partner at Cobalt Capital”We may see further mergers in the sector given prevailing market conditions and this seems to have been a sensible move for all three parties involved.”

Kevin Friend, strategic partnerships director at Mortgages.co.uk”This will be the first of many mergers as the market consolidates. Many societies underestimated the depth of the current crisis. It makes sense.” David Hollingworth, mortgage expert at London & Country”Although there will be no payout for the two societies’ members, Nationwide can be viewed as a white knight for the mutual sector.”

Roy New, sole broker”This move is bad news as it means another two brands that brokers won’t be able to go to. Big fish always end up eating little ones. Hopefully Nationwide will retain the brands but I can’t see that happening.”

Mike Fitzgerald, sales director at Brentchase Financial Services”The regulator acted quickly to facilitate these mergers. The power to push through mergers without members having a vote has only been used once before.”

Danny Lovey, principal of The Mortgage Practitioner”It’s important that confidence is retained in the system and it’s good to see the Financial Services Authority keeping things in order. Pity the same thing didn’t happen with Northern Rock.”