Nationwide shake-up leaves 470 jobs at risk

Making Cuts: Boss Debbie Crosbie

Nationwide has told 470 staff their jobs are at risk – weeks before Christmas.

Britain's biggest construction company is making the cuts as part of a shake-up by boss Debbie Crosbie to slim down its head office operations.

Less than a month ago, Nationwide reported a rise in half-year profit to £989m as rising interest rates helped the country squeeze bigger margins out of borrowers.

And it follows the revelation this week that Crosbie is scrapping the lender's 'work from anywhere' policy by telling most staff they will have to be in the office two days a week from the start of next year.

The jobs at risk will be in the building society's headquarters, its retail operations and its mortgage and financial wellbeing department. Swindon-based Nationwide – which employs around 18,000 people in total – informed employees of the cuts last month and has been in consultation with staff since.

A total of 200 are expected to leave, the lender said.

Tim Rose, general secretary of the Nationwide Group Staff Union, said he was “very disappointed”.

In a union newsletter he said: 'While our experience with change programs suggests that some affected employees will welcome the opportunity to leave Nationwide with redundancy pay and pursue new opportunities, many will be extremely concerned about their future, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty and pressure on the cost of living.'

A spokesperson for Nationwide said last night that it needed to become 'more flexible and efficient'.

“We are streamlining some of our head office teams and expect around 200 people to leave the Society,” the spokesperson said.

“This allows us to invest more in the value and service we provide to our customers.”

Nationwide said the announcement did not involve moving existing roles overseas. It added that customer-facing roles would not be affected.

“We have worked hard to minimize the number of colleagues affected and are ensuring we provide the right support to those affected,” the spokesperson said.

A previous round of job cuts took place earlier this year, when Nationwide said it would cut 450 jobs. Crosbie, who joined in June last year, was paid £3.46 million for her first ten months in the role, including £1.7 million to compensate for bonuses she forfeited when leaving previous employer TSB left.

Nationwide is the latest lender to prepare to cut jobs, following recent reports that Barclays will cut up to 2,000 jobs.