Wed 28 Aug 2019 10:48AM

Why is Nationwide Building Society not more involved with the rest of the UK co-op sector?

LS Leo Sammallahti Public Seen by 52

If this is a wrong forum to post this, please don't hesitate to tell me to remove this post!

I've noticed that Co-operatives UK lists Nationwide in it's directory of co-ops but in it's Co-op Economy Report it does not include it. However John Lewis is included, which seems to not adhere to co-op principles, at least to the extent that building societies do (1-member-1-vote principle for example). Don't get me wrong I think John Lewis is awesome.

Generally in the few Co-ops UK events I've been to there seems to be little involvement from the Nationwide. This is rather weird because it is by far the largest coop in the UK, with membership larger than the rest of the coops combined! In the report it's stated that the membership in coops has declined by around 40 000 in 2019, yet Nationwide saw its membership increase by over 400 000.

How could we include Nationwide more in co-operative development?
Nationwide is planning to make 4.1 billion tech investment in the next 5 years. If 1% of this would be invested through CoTech members, it would be around 4x the annual revenue of all CoTech coops combined. To stand in Nationwide board of directors elections requires 250 member signatures, to put forward a resolution requires 500. These are big numbers but if we could get some organisations like the Co-operative Party or The Momentum involved, I think it would be possible for a coop enthusiast to stand in the board election or put forward a resolution for deeper cooperation with the rest of the coop sector.

What could Nationwide do to support the wider coop movement?


Mark Simmonds (Co-op Culture) Fri 4 Oct 2019 8:37AM

Sorry @leosammallahti missed this at the time. I suppose like most of these things it comes down to using personal relationships to form links between traditional silos.
The in might be to find someone who's job is outreach rather than joining the Board (although we shouldn't rule that out, certainly those of us who are members).