July 2020 – Nationwide, as with most other companies, has been unable to hold an AGM in the normal way and held it online. The meeting was held at their headquarters at Swindon with directors and sufficient numbers of staff to make up the required 50 for a quorum, although only three people could be seen. So there were no members in attendance. This was followed the next day by one of their “Member Talkback” events online and members were able to submit questions that could be batted away as usual by pre-recorded and well rehearsed responses as is customary. They have made videos of both events available for members to see for a short period of time unlike NHS England where video recordings of board meetings are available permanently and where Nationwide chairman David Roberts is vice chairman.
At the AGM David Roberts said “.… I, for one, hope that the spirit of mutual kindness and consideration that has been evident among our colleagues and our members, and wider society, will continue“. A question from a BSMA referred to this statement at the AGM and asked if the board would use their spirit of mutual kindness and consideration towards members and hold AGMs during afternoons like their “Talkback” sessions which normally start at 1pm. Needless to say once again David Roberts’ words were proved to be untrue and pure propaganda. He waffled on and then said NO. No member is allowed to ask this kind of question and get agreement from the directors at anytime ever as this might suggest the existence of accountability and mutuality.
Every year without fail the directors repeat the claim that they are open and transparent. This is probably the only board that finds it necessary to keep doing so. A claim that has been shown to be false. One wonders why?