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** Members of first UK internet bank set to top 600,000 on St Valentine's Day **

The number of Nationwide members registered for online banking is expected to exceed 600,000 later this week.

With new registrations averaging 1,700 a day, the figure of 600,000 is almost certain to be reached on St Valentine's Day (Wednesday 14 February).

Nationwide passed another milestone in January, when the number of visits to its website (www.nationwide.co.uk) topped one million. The previous monthly high was November last year, when the figure was 832,000.

Jim Willens, Nationwide's e-commerce director, said: "We have almost six times the number of members registered for online banking now than we did 12 months ago, which is reflected in the growing number of visitors to our website.

"May 2001 will be the fourth anniversary of Nationwide launching internet banking in the UK. By then, I confidently expect to see around three-quarters of a million people banking online with Nationwide."


Notes to editors:

Nationwide launched the UK's first retail internet banking service in May 1997.

The number of members registered for online banking rose from 100,000 to in excess of 500,000 between January-December 2000.

Members registered for online banking can also access their accounts via Nationwide branches, post and telephone.

In December, Nationwide launched Europe's first banking service for personal digital assistants using the Microsoft Pocket PC operating system.

In October last year, independent e-commerce ratings specialist Blay's voted Nationwide's internet banking service best in the UK.



Media enquiries to:

Peter Brown, senior press officer, 01793 655423

peter.brown@nationwide.co.uk


Jennifer Stoddart, senior press officer, 01793 655203

jenniferm.stoddart@nationwide.co.uk


Further information about Nationwide, its products and services can be found at its new Media Centre:

http://www.nationwide.co.uk/mediacentre/

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Nationwide Building Society in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.