Britain’s biggest building society has announced plans for a £150 billion merger with one of its main rivals.
The proposed deal to merge Nationwide with Portman Building Society is the biggest ever building society tie-up and will create the UK’s second largest mortgage lender, after Halifax/Bank of Scotland.
The enlarged society, which will be named Nationwide, will continue as a mutual society owned and run for the benefit of its members with more than 800 branches across the UK.
The merger is expected to become effective by the end of September 2007, subject to approval from Portman members and the Office of Fair Trading, and confirmation by the Financial Services Authority.
If it goes through, qualifying Portman members will receive a merger bonus of £200. They’ll also have access to current accounts and credit cards not previously available to them, while Nationwide members will have access to a new range of money management and financial planning services.
Philip Williamson, Nationwide’s Chief Executive, said: ‘As a result of the merger, 13 million people will be members of a bigger and even better society, offering market-leading products and pricing, underpinned by a strong commitment to mutuality.’
Established in 1846, the Portman Building Society is one of the oldest building society in the UK and the third largest, with assets of more than £17.8 billion.
The society has 1.8 million members and a network of 143 branches.