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Joe Garner

Change at the top at Nationwide, as CEO and chairman announce departure

The CEO of Swindon-based building society Nationwide is stepping down after five years in the top job.

And the chairman of the mutual has also announced his departure.

Today the building society confirmed that senior independent director Kevin Parry would be replacing David Roberts, who has been the chairman of the lender since 2015.

As chairman elect, Parry’s first job will be to lead the process to appoint a successor for CEO Joe Garner (pictured), who has been at the helm since 2016.

Since Garner’s appointment, the society has grown its membership by two million members to over 16 million, and returned nearly £3 billion in member financial benefit.

It has also grown its stock of residential mortgages by £28 billion, and in 2020 the society hit its long-term target of holding 10 percent of UK current accounts.

Nationwide has remained first amongst its peer group for customer satisfaction for the last five years and was awarded the Which? Banking Brand of the Year for the fourth successive time.

David Roberts said: “Joe has made an outstanding contribution as leader of Nationwide.

“He has led the Society through the challenges of Brexit and Covid, and we have emerged in robust financial health able to focus on supporting our members as the country rebuilds from the effects of the pandemic.

“Over the last six years, the growth in our membership, mortgage lending and deposits aligned with our consistently superior customer service is testament to Joe’s focus on delivering the things that are important to our members.

“By putting in place an orderly transition, we will ensure a smooth handover to new leadership and continuity in the running of the society.”

Joe Garner said: “Nationwide is one of the UK’s largest financial services organisations but most significantly it is mutual-owned and run for the benefit of its 16 million members.

“It is therefore a unique privilege to lead such an organisation, and our achievements are credit to our loyal and committed employees who have risen to the recent challenges of Covid so well.

“Together we have faced some of the most significant and extraordinary circumstances but have remained resolute in our focus on meeting the needs of our members.

“I believe that the Society is in excellent health with a loyal membership and great commitment to working for a mutual organisation that has the interests of society and its members at its heart.

“The foundations we’ve laid down in recent years will enable my successor to continue to grow the Society and ensure we are ready to meet the future needs of our members. Until that point, I am absolutely focused on continuing to lead and deliver on our priorities.”

Kevin Parry said: “Nationwide Building Society has been part of the UK’s economic and social fabric for over 150 years, and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to help shape its future.

“I intend to work with my colleagues to engage all our energy and experience to continuing the development of the business in accordance with the principles of mutuality that deliver great service and value for our members.

“There will be a transitional period into the role, but I’d like to thank David at this point for his dedication and commitment to the society over the last seven years. It is in no small part thanks to him, and to Joe, that we move into the future with confidence and certainty.”

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