Nationwide to shut four out of six service centres

Nationwide has confirmed plans to move from six processing centres to two, resulting in the closure of centres in Birmingham, Chester, Doncaster, and Newcastle.

Mortgage Strategy first revealed in April that the the UK’s largest building society was considering a move to two centres with all broker mortgage processing to be carried out at the Northampton and Glasgow sites.

Some 145 staff are affected by the decision, but a spokeswoman for Nationwide say it is difficult to confirm how many redundancies will result as employees consider their options and may be redeployed to other parts of the business.

Staff were notified this morning, shortly before an email was sent to brokers alerting them to the changes.

The closures will be carried out in stages, with all four sites to be closed by the end of August.

A spokeswoman for Nationwide says: “We are taking a phased approach to reduce the impact as much as possible on intermediaries, as opposed to closing all the sites at once.

“We will write to intermediaries in advance of the transfer date and there will be no impact on customer mortgage applications.”

Brokers will also receive in advance the details of which service centre will be handling new cases, and contact details for existing pipeline business.

Nationwide is also launching a help page on its website with full details of which centre brokers should direct their business to.

In the email to brokers sent today Ian Andrew, head of intermediary sales at Nationwide, says: “Nationwide remains committed to the intermediary market.

“Streamlining our service proposition will help ensure we continue to deliver a consistently high level of service to all our intermediary partners, both now and in the future.”

The announcement from Nationwide follows a similar move by Abbey for Intermediaries and Alliance & Leicester last year. The Santander-owned brands announced in February 2009 they were moving to a ’super-site’ style of processing with plans to cut down their service centres from 10 to two.