Nationwide hits back at edeus ads

Nationwide has hit back at edeus for flaunting the mantra \'Screw branches, not brokers\' in its latest advertising campaign.

The campaign attacks branch-based lenders for betraying brokers. One advert states: “Halifax, NatWest, Abbey, Nationwide. Who are they kidding? ‘We’re opening all these branches so we can serve our customers.’ Yeah right, should that not be ‘so we can flog them more mortgages directly?'”

It continues: “It’s hardly rocket science, but if a lender has branches, that means they’ve also got a bad case of divided attention and are most likely too busy selling direct to talk to you. However, we believe that if you want to say you’re committed to brokers then you’ve got to show it.”

But Tim Hughes, head of intermediary markets at Nationwide, has hit back at edeus’ campaign.

He says: “You have to wonder why edeus is doing this. Maybe things aren’t going its way. Branches form a key part of our business but equally important to us is the broker market.”

Michael Bolton, chief executive of edeus, says Nationwide is far from being a broker-friendly lender.

He says: “Nationwide is being a bit naive and clueless in suggesting we are short of business.”

Nationwide says it will not be taking action against edeus for its controversial advertisement, but this does not please Bolton.

He says: “I’d love to be challenged by one of these guys. It would expose their two-faced approach to the broker market.”

A spokeswoman for NatWest says: “We offer both routes so our customers can choose.”

Halifax and Abbey both declined to comment.