Martin Lewis sends warning to Nationwide customers over one big change

Martin Lewis, renowned for his financial advice, has raised alarm over Nationwide’s controversial move to acquire rival lender, Virgin Money.

The proposed transaction, worth a staggering £2.9bn, has sparked discontent among nearly 4,000 members who have taken their concerns online to petition against the merger and demand a voting right in such decisions.

The BBC and ITV celebrity warned: “A petition is growing in strength calling on Nationwide to give members a vote on its proposed £2.9bn takeover of Virgin Money….”

A disgruntled customer said: “If it has any meaning that we are a membership organisation, then members should get to vote on something as big as this. That would mean we would be given a better explanation of the supposed benefits to members.”

Another member added: “I signed this petition because Nationwide has decided to spend £2.9billion of our money on something that appears unnecessary when it could be offering better savings rates, lower mortgage rates or [extending] the annual members’ bonus to all loyal members..”

One long-time patron said: “I have been with Nationwide for over 40 years and have always liked the fact that it is a mutual society, run in the interests of its members… Nationwide members deserve a say and should have a vote.”, reports Birmingham Live.

Nationwide has defended the acquisition of Virgin Money and highlighted that extensive polling of over 10,000 members indicated minimal opposition to the deal.

A spokesperson said: “Buying Virgin Money will make Nationwide a stronger building society, ensuring it can offer better mortgages and savings rates compared to the market average and expand its products and services.

“Nationwide has also undertaken several polls of its members, reaching over 10,000 people, showing only very small numbers view the deal negatively.”

The spokesperson further added: “A member vote is not required under Nationwide’s own rules or the Building Society Act, and Nationwide’s Board believes that this deal is in the best interest of current and future members.”

Meanwhile, reactions on social media have been mixed.

One individual responded to a tweet by Mr Lewis, arguing: “Bit of an odd idea. While Nationwide treats customers like investors when it comes to paying out profits, they are still a public company. As such, investors will likely vote on the deal. Allowing customers to vote on a deal 95 percent of them won’t read up on, is a bad idea.”

Another commentator pointed out the advanced stage of the agreement, saying: “The deal was already done..Virgin have been buying back shares and cancelling them for last year to tidy it up and package it in Holdings. Virgin Money Limited even filed Dormant Accounts. All there on Companies House for anyone who wants to look.”


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