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Nationwide to launch freephone cost of living hotline

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Nationwide is to launch a cost of living freephone hotline next month so customers can get in touch if they’re struggling with rising bills.

The mutual said from August, it will offer a free hotline for any of its 16 million customers who may be experiencing money worries.

Calls will be answered by trained experts across its branches between 9am and 4:30pm during the week, and 9am to midday on Saturdays.

It said it aims to answer calls within 10 minutes.

These trained branch staff will also contact members who “demonstrate obvious signs that they may be struggling”.

Nationwide said the calls will aim to “better understand their situation”, and where relevant, it will offer support to help people get into a better position.

Further, from September, all frontline staff will receive training to provide cost of living help for customers, whether in branch or on the phone. Customers will be directed to its cost-of-living hub, product support and help with money management via the StepChange debt charity.

And from October, Nationwide said its cost of living experts will be able to offer face-to-face, phone and video appointments, providing financial health checks and tips on money management.

Debbie Crosbie, chief executive of Nationwide Building Society, said: “We know the challenges that many of our members face from the cost-of-living crisis. We’re here to help and will make it as easy as possible for people to get the right support when they’re worried about their finances. That’s why we provide expert help from our branches, and now through the new hotline, as well as by video. We can do all of this because we are a mutual and our singular focus is our members, and we use all profit for their benefit.”

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