FSA confirms Portman and Nationwide merger

27 July 2007
The Financial Services Authority has confirmed the merger of the UK’s largest mortgage lender, Nationwide with the Portman Building Society.

The official FSA document outlines the proposed transfer of the engagements of Portman to Nationwide as well as details of the merger and reasons behind the decision including 22 written representations sent to the FSA and three oral representations given at the hearing held in Bournemouth on 7 June. Copies of the decision will be sent to each society and to those who made representations.

The merged business, which will have assets of more than £150bn, will take the Nationwide name and operate as a mutual society as opposed to a takeover of Portman by Nationwide.

The merger will mean a total of over 800 UK branches and more than 13 million members worldwide as well as a payout estimated at around £200 for the 1.8 millions Portman members making this merged group into the second –largest mortgage lender in the UK.

The Nationwide head office, which is based in Swindon, is to become the new head office for the merged building societies and Portman's current Bournemouth head office is to take on a new role a key business centre.

Only Portman members will be eligible for a payout but in order to qualify, account holders must have had at least £100 in their account on 11 September 2006, and remain a member until an as yet unspecified date.

Portman mortgage holders will have had to have held a minimum balance of £100 on 11 September 2006 and those with a mortgage and savings will be able to receive two payouts.

Graham Beale, Nationwide’s chief executive, said: “This is great news for members of both Nationwide and Portman. The enlarged society, with its strong commitment to mutuality, will be in an even stronger position to deliver real long-term good value to its members through better product pricing and excellent service.

“As the UK's largest mutual we will continue to provide a compelling alternative to the big retail banks.”

Find out more about Portman Building Society and Nationwide Building Society