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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.

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  • Ancient Wisdom 20th May 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Nationwide was one of a handful of lenders who provided great service at the call centres, alwasys good service and professional. A real shame, wishing you all best of luck going forward.

    Thank you all.

  • Andrew McGann 20th May 2010 at 4:21 pm

    In many cases the centres being closed provided better service than the ones being kept open. This is all about cost cutting and has been on the cards for a long time. I haven’t seen too many examples of excellent service provided by so called ‘ super’ centres so am not very optomistic.

  • Paul 20th May 2010 at 1:10 pm

    This is a great shame. Every time we have dealt with the Chester office the staff have been more than helpful with nothing ever seeming like too much trouble. Some other lenders would be well advised to employ some of theoutgoing staff and learn a thing or two about good customer service from them. Good luck to all affected staff.

  • Keith 20th May 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Strange isn’t it how every statement about cost cutting and a reduction in service starts “Nationwide remains committed to the intermediary market”.

    No doubt the phone numbers provided will lead to telephone queues where the music being played will only be interupted by a pre-recorded voice telling us how important our call is to them.

    What’s next? Indian call centres? Why not just outsource it completely? Obviously you don’t want to waste your own time merely dealing with intermediaries.

  • Ballbag 20th May 2010 at 12:21 pm

    What a shame. I get really good service from the Birmingham centre, and now the risk is that Nationwide will descend into the same chaos that Abbey have, although I sincerely hope not.