Nationwide offers voluntary redundancies

Nationwide Building Society has offered around 200 redundancy packages to its staff in an attempt to avoid compulsory lay-offs.

The lender, which is the UK’s biggest building society, currently employes around 17,000 staff and hopes that enough employees will sign up for the redundancy programme, or else it will begin making cuts to its staff numbers early next year.

A nationwide spokeswoman said: “As a result of the low-interest rate environment and the impact of COVID-19, we are consulting on potential redundancies with a number of individuals.”

She added that no one would be required to leave the society before 2021, after a previous pledge that it made to avoid compulsory redundancies this year, The Times reports. 

Last month Nationwide revealed that its annual profit had dropped by almost half owing to higher provisions for bad debts and an extra charge related to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI). Nationwide’s pre-tax profits also fell by 44% to £466 million from £833m, after the lender announced that it expected a £101m hit from expected credit losses and took a £39m charge for PPI claims.

Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide, warned of a possible negative impact if the Bank of England followed other central banks in pushing interest rates, which now stand at 0.1%, into negative territory.

He said: “Continued supply of credit into the economy from the financial services sector is a really big factor. Policyholders are thinking about what negative rates would do to the supply of credit. The governor said he wouldn’t rule it out and wouldn’t rule it in.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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