Nationwide are a building society, governed by the UK Building
Societies Act 1986, and regulated by the Financial Services
They are the largest building society in
the United Kingdom in terms of total assets. The company's
core business is providing personal financial services.
As a mutual organisation, Nationwide are owned by and managed
for the benefit of its members - their retail savings and
residential mortgage customers - rather than for shareholders.
The company's main focus is serving their
members' interests while retaining sufficient profit to
increase and further develop their business and meet regulatory
requirements. They return value to their members by offering
typically higher interest rates on savings and lower interest
rates on loans than those offered by their main competitors.
This returned value is commonly referred to as their member
value. As a result of returning value to its members, the
company earns lower pre-tax profits than its main competitors
(typically banks or other non-mutual organisations).