Nationwide scraps fees for more than 30 services

NATIONWIDE, the UK's largest building society, is to abolish fees for more than 30 services, a move which it reckons could save its customers more than pounds 12m a year.

The building society said that from 1 June it would no longer charge customers for obtaining duplicate statements, stopping cheques, changing building insurance to an alternative provider, or using LINK cash machines.

"Nationwide is underlining its commitment to make membership of the society mean more, in a way which sets it apart from its plc competitors", the building society said in a statement.

Brian Davis, Nationwide's chief executive, said: "As a building society we are not driven to maximise the profit we make out of our customers at every turn. We can therefore not only listen to these concerns [customer concerns] but act on them".

Nationwide, which has seen many of its competitors convert to banks and float on the stock market, remains committed to the principal of mutual ownership.

The building society is confident its members will vote to retain its mutual status this summer, according to company sources.

The society is facing a second attempt to force it to convert to a plc at its annual general meeting of members on July 23. Two demutualisation candidates are seeking election to the board.

Last year, Michael Hardern failed in his attempt to be elected to the board on a demutualisation ticket. Undeterred, Mr Hardern has chosen to stand again this year. Andrew Muir is the other demutualisation candidate standing for election.