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Nationwide to close its ‘regional’ brands

Dunfermline, Cheshire and Derbyshire BS to go

Nationwide building society

Nationwide will merge all of its banking brands into one, starting from spring 2014. The building society has confirmed plans to dispense with the Cheshire, Derbyshire and Dunfermline Building Society brands and move their customers over to Nationwide. 

It aims to complete the integration by mid-2015, starting with Dunfermline next year. Over the period, it is expected that around half of the 91 branches of the regional brands will be closed.  

Customers may be put onto different deals

Tony Prestedge, chief operating officer at Nationwide, said ‘The strength of the Nationwide brand is increasingly compelling and we will now be able to offer customers of the Cheshire, Derbyshire and Dunfermline a vastly improved proposition.’ 

Nationwide also told Which? that customers of the newly integrated brands will be moved onto ‘similar’ Nationwide products. However, specific details (such as whether some customers may be moved onto less preferable deals than their existing ones) have yet to be worked out.

How do the disappearing brands compare to Nationwide?

Across the Which? Best Rate tables, products from the four building societies have shown strengths in different areas – so existing customers might be best advised to consider the market when the mergers take place. 

For savings, the Derbyshire, Cheshire and Dunfermline all presently appear in Which? Best Rate tables for four year fixed rate bonds. Nationwide (along with the Cheshire) has a Best Rate easy access cash Isa, and the Derbyshire is the only provider of the four to have a Best Rate instant access account.

Derbyshire also out-competes Nationwide in its personal loans deals for new customers. However, Nationwide is a Which? Recommended Provider for mortgages with consistently competitive rates. 

Customers whose accounts may be affected by the coming changes will be contacted by letter at least 12 weeks in advance of any changes.

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