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Santander files complaint over Nationwide branch jibe advert - Sky

Santander has filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a recent Nationwide Building Society ad satirising bank bosses' attitudes to branch closures, according to Sky News.

2 comments

Santander files complaint over Nationwide branch jibe advert - Sky

Editorial

This content has been selected, created and edited by the Finextra editorial team based upon its relevance and interest to our community.

In October, Nationwide unveiled an advert that sees Dominic West cast as an out-of-touch bank boss. West, who works for the fictional A.N.Y Bank, is determined to introduce cutbacks and branch closures, despite his more astute assistant, played by comedian Sunil Patel, questioning his decisions.

The ASA received a formal complaint soon after the commercial aired, arguing that it is "misleading around other banks closing branches, and discredits and denigrates its competitors," the watchdog tells Sky.

While the ASA has not named the complainant, Sky says it is the UK arm of Spanish giant Santander.

The ASA has yet to rule on the issue but Nationwide has already lined up a second "even more pointed" ad, says Sky.

The original commercial came as Nationwide boasted that its longstanding commitment to branches meant that it had the largest network in the country. The society had recently renewed its Branch Promise to not leave any town or city in which it is based until at least 2026 - in sharp contrast to mass bank closures up and down the country in recent years.

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Comments: (2)

A Finextra member 

In Sweden all banks have cut back on the branch networks, also the one that a few years ago made similar claims as the advertizer in the UK makes. It does not make much sense in keeping full service branches in almost all communities when the majority of the population have shifted to self service through remote banking channels in addition to a heavy reduction of cash usage. The challenger banks also claimed that their services were cheaper due to a more cost effective and convenient self service business model, and therefore also the traditional banks have adapted to the choice of the majority of customers. Since the authorities have granted licenses to a multitude of branchless banks they have pushed the traditional banks into branch reduction in order to stay competitive. 

Melvin Haskins Managing Director at Haston International Limited

Someone needs to service remote towns and villages in the UK where a branch banking service is needed - contrary to popular belief cash is still widely used outside of major cities. Nationwide has chosen to be the organisation of choice and, as the world's largest mutual 'bank' it can afford to do so. It does not have shareholders demanding ever increasing profits. It is also noteworthy that it has one of the highest coustomer satisfaction ratings.

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