Nationwide Delays SMB Account To Build Bank-Switching Tool

Nationwide has to delay its business account rollout

Nationwide Building Society has pushed back the rollout of its small- to medium-sized business (SMB) account to later this year, instead wanting to focus for now on the testing of its mobile app and building an open banking-powered switching tool, according to Finextra.

The company received a 50-million -pound ($64.1 million) grant last year from the RBS bailout fund with the intent of developing a business banking base. The company matched that with its own 50-million-pound contribution.

Nationwide tapped 10x Future Technologies, the FinTech startup founded by former Barclays boss Antony Jenkins, to help develop the new platform for the new business current account. But now, the company said it needs more time before rolling out the account.

Nationwide said in a statement that “timeframes for bringing elements of our proposition to market” would extend and had been “slower than expected.” Because the company is committed to fairness and value for its customers in the SMB market, it decided to take more time, especially after “experience in 2019.”

The company said it still submitted quarterly reports to the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) scheme, set up to attempt to give citizens more choices in banking.

Nationwide plans to release its new account as planned, but it said it wants to work more on testing and refining the experience of using it. The company is also still working on the planned open bank-powered switching support. But there are also delays on savings, loan and credit card products.

In related news, bankers are unhappy with the work of BCR, calling it “farcical” and complaining about the speed and the lack of transparency with the program. Last week, Metro Bank returned 50 million pounds to the scheme because of an accounting scandal which suppressed expansion plans.