The MOD has recognised Nationwide Building Society’s support for former and serving armed forces personnel including its leadership in removing barriers military families can face in buying a home of their own.
Nationwide has been awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme’s Gold award by the MOD’s Defence Relationship Management (DRM). The award is achieved through nominations by other organisations and evidence of work being carried out which supports the military community.
Building on the silver status Nationwide received in 2014 and its signing of the Military Covenant in the same year, the Society, over the last two years, has developed and led on a number of initiatives which make it easier for service personnel to access mortgages and loans.
Armed forces personnel can often face problems accessing credit where financial services systems do not recognise their British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses or fail to account for the fact that their multiple address history is a result of being a member of the armed forces. In recognition of this, Nationwide made changes to its processes to make it easier for Armed Forces personnel to apply for loans and mortgages.
Nationwide waives all additional lettings charges meaning that armed forces personnel are able to buy a house where they ultimately want to live and not where they are currently based. Lettings fees are waived from the day they take out their mortgage whether personnel are posted elsewhere in the UK or overseas.
Restrictions are also waived for those who let their properties and need to complete transactions on their mortgage such as switching or reducing or extending their payment terms.
Alongside the product changes, Nationwide continues to support ex armed forces personnel who wish to have a second career at the Society. It has recently launched a Veterans, Reserves Community Employee Network Group to support veterans as they transition from the military into civilian roles within Nationwide.
Another key element of Nationwide’s military support work stream is a major piece of research currently being carried out with renowned military think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on the Military Covenant. Expected to launch in the Autumn, the report will provide in-depth analysis of how organisations put the Military Covenant into practice. The aim of the research is to understand how covenant signatories actively remove obstacles to services and products that armed forces personnel – both serving and former – often face.
Corporate Affairs Director, Bryce Glover, said: “We’re delighted to be awarded Gold – it shows just how far we’ve come in a relatively short space of time. We will continue to support both former and serving armed forces personnel – whether this is helping them to access products and services or working with RUSI to improve how organisations across the UK can best support these men and women. As the UK’s largest building society and an organisation with close geographical links to military bases within the South West, we are determined to do all we can to ensure those who serve their country in often very difficult situations do not face disadvantage as a result of their work – levelling the playing field and making changes which address their different experiences and backgrounds is the very least we can do and I encourage other organisations to do the same.”
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon said: “Every year the level of support from companies across Britain for the armed forces continues to grow. This commitment is making a real difference to everyone who serves and their families – whether giving Reservists more time to train or supporting veterans or spouses, they embody what the Armed Forces Covenant is about.”
To find out more about Nationwide’s support for the military community watch a short film here.