Making cuts: Boss Debbie Crosbie
Nationwide has told 470 staff that their jobs are at risk – weeks before Christmas.
Britain’s biggest building society is making the cuts as part of a shake-up by boss Debbie Crosbie to slim down head office operations.
Less than a month ago, Nationwide reported a rise in half-year profits to £989m as rising interest rates helped it squeeze bigger margins out of borrowers.
And it follows the disclosure this week that Crosbie is scrapping the lender’s ‘work anywhere’ policy by telling most staff they will have to be in the office for two days a week from early next year.
The jobs at risk will be across the building society’s chief operating office, retail operations and its mortgages and financial wellbeing division. Swindon-based Nationwide – which employs around 18,000 overall – told workers of the cuts last month and has since been in consultations with staff.
A total of 200 are expected to leave, the lender said.
Tim Rose, general secretary of the Nationwide Group Staff Union, said it was ‘very disappointed’.
Writing in a union newsletter, he said: ‘Although our experience of change programmes suggests that some impacted employees will welcome the chance to leave Nationwide with a severance package and pursue new opportunities, many will be extremely anxious about their future, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty and cost of living pressures.’
A Nationwide spokesman said last night it needed to become ‘more agile and efficient’.
‘We are streamlining some of our head office teams and expect around 200 people to leave the Society,’ the spokesman said.
‘This will enable us to increase investment in the value and service we provide our customers.’
Nationwide said the announcement did not involve moving existing roles offshore. It added that customer-facing roles would not be affected.
‘We have worked hard to keep the number of affected colleagues to a minimum and are ensuring we provide the right support for those impacted,’ the spokesman said.
A previous round of job cuts came earlier this year when Nationwide said up to 450 would go. Crosbie, who joined in June last year, was paid £3.46m for her first ten months in the role including a £1.7m to compensate her for bonuses forfeited when she left previous employer TSB.
Nationwide is the latest lender to prepare to make job cuts after recent reports that Barclays will cut up to 2,000 roles.