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Nationwide to pay £125 to existing members who switch current account

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Nationwide has entered the battle to persuade savers to change their current account provider, offering a cash incentive that rewards those customers who already use one of its services over new ones.

Following in the steps of HSBC and Virgin Money, Britain’s biggest building society will pay £125 to existing customers, such as mortgage borrowers, if they also switch their current account to Nationwide. New customers will receive £100 for moving over.

Nationwide has also launched a Flex Instant savings account that will be exclusively available to current account members. It pays an introductory 0.35% rate of interest for 12 months.

To qualify for the incentive, the switch must be made using the current account switch service (Cass) and a minimum of two active direct debits must be added to the new account. The offer applies to switches made from 18 August.

Existing Nationwide members must use its internet bank to switch the current account they hold with another provider to claim their £125 bonus.

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Tom Riley, the director of banking and savings at Nationwide, said: “As a mutual we always look to reward our members’ loyalty with exclusive products and services. This is why our new switching incentive offers a higher level of reward for existing members compared to those who are new to the society.”

In general, people have proved reluctant to change their bank account provider during the pandemic. However, as things have started to return to normal, incentives are being offered to encourage people to switch.

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HSBC is offering £140 to new customers who sign up to its Advance account via the website MoneySavingExpert (MSE). The multinational bank is also offering a savings account paying 1%. MSE described the offer as “the biggest cash bribe we’ve seen in 18 months”.

Unlike at Nationwide, account switchers have to pay a minimum of £1,750 into the HSBC account. Meanwhile, Virgin Money is offering a £150 gift card to put towards Virgin Experience Days to switchers to its current account, although there are a “few hoops to jump through to get the perks”, according to MSE.

Nationwide is offering three main current accounts including the FlexPlus packaged bank account, which has a £13/month fee; FlexDirect, an online account paying 2% credit interest on balances up to £1,500 and an interest-free arranged overdraft for the first 12 months; and its FlexAccount, where members can bank online and in its branches fee-free.