Nationwide plans to launch freephone hotline to help customers struggling with cost-of-living crisis
Nationwide plans to launch a freephone hotline to help customers struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
It will also start ‘checking in’ on customers showing obvious signs of financial distress.
The mutual, owned by its 16 million members, wants account holders to seek help as early as possible if they run into money problems.
Helping hand: Nationwide, owned by its 16 million members, wants account holders to seek help as early as possible if they run into money problems
With interest rates, energy bills and food prices all rising, lenders are bracing for a painful squeeze on household budgets that could prompt a surge in bad debts and arrears.
Nationwide says the dedicated hotline will be answered within ten minutes by specially trained staff.
They will also contact customers if they pick up early warning signs of stretched finances, such as going overdrawn, paying credit card bills late or reduced savings.
Both services begin next month and are in addition to Nationwide’s existing collection and recovery activities.
The building society’s new chief executive Debbie Crosbie recently vowed to keep a branch open in every town or city where it already has a presence until at least 2024.
‘We’re here to help and will make it as easy as possible for people to get the right support when they’re worried about their finances,’ she said.
‘That’s why we provide expert help from our branches, and now through the new hotline, as well as by video.’