03 Dec 2021

Nationwide Building Society appoints Debbie Crosbie as Chief Executive

Nationwide Building Society announces that it has appointed Debbie Crosbie as its next Chief Executive and Executive Director, subject to regulatory approval.

The selection process has been led by Kevin Parry, the Society’s Deputy Chairman and Chairman Elect and follows the announcement in September that after nearly six years in the role, the current Chief Executive, Joe Garner, intended to stand down from the Board. 

Debbie will take up her position in the first half of 2022.  In the meantime, Joe will continue in his role as Chief Executive.

Debbie will be Nationwide’s first female Executive Director.  She is currently Chief Executive of TSB, a non-executive director of SSE plc and a member of the Prudential Regulation Authority’s Practitioner Panel.

Kevin Parry, Chairman-elect said:

“The Board is delighted that Debbie has agreed to join Nationwide as Chief Executive. Following a thorough and rigorous selection process, she emerged as the outstanding candidate to lead Nationwide. She brings significant banking experience combined with deep operational and technological knowledge – core skills that are needed to run a modern building society.   She is a strong advocate of mutuality and supports Nationwide’s core purpose and the societal role it plays.

“I look forward to working with Debbie to continue to enhance the services we provide to our members.”

Debbie Crosbie, CEO-elect said:

“Nationwide’s mutual status, combined with its trusted brand and market-leading customer service, make it a purposeful and unique force for good. I’m delighted to be asked to lead the Society in its next phase of growth and to work with its members and colleagues to make it the leading retail financial services provider in the UK.”

David Roberts, Chairman of Nationwide, said:

“I am pleased we have completed the selection process with the appointment of Debbie. By running an orderly and timely transition, we will ensure a smooth handover and continuity in the running of the Society.

“Debbie will join a Society that is in excellent health, a testament to the outstanding contribution that Joe Garner and the team have made over the last six years. The growth in our membership coupled with our superior service and underpinned by our financial strength is a solid foundation to continue growing the Society and ensuring we are ready to meet the future needs of our members.”

Notes to editors

Media Information:

Sara Batchelor, Head of Media Relations.

Tel: 07785 344137

Email: Sara.batchelor@nationwide.co.uk

Investor information:

 Charles Wood, Head of Investor Relations

Tel: 07500 999612

 Notes to Editor:

 Board composition

 Following the succession of the Chairman and Chief Executive, the Board will comprise 10 directors with an equal split of male and female directors.

 About Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide is the world's largest building society. It is owned by its 16 million members and exists to serve their needs. The Society is one of the UK’s largest providers for mortgages, savings and current accounts, as well as being a major provider of ISAs, credit cards, personal loans, insurance and investments.

As a mutual organisation, Nationwide Building Society uses its unique position to help build society by making a positive difference to the lives of its members and the communities in which they live. It is why Nationwide still values a branch network, supports communities through charitable grants, and places a premium on helping people thrive financially – whether helping them into a home of their own or giving them the financial support they need. Taking a stand and making a difference is what sets Nationwide apart. None of which would be possible without the dedicated service of its 18,000 employees.

Over the last five years, the Society has grown its membership by nearly 2 million members to over 16 million and returned nearly £3billion in member financial benefit. It has also grown its stock of residential mortgages by £28billion and in 2020 the Society hit its long-term target of holding 10 per cent of UK current accounts. Nationwide has remained first amongst its peer group for customer satisfaction for 9 successive years.


 Debbie Crosbie

Debbie has over 25 years of experience in financial service leadership. Since joining TSB as CEO in May 2019, Debbie has led the successful turnaround of TSB by delivering a strategy to transform customer experience, make the bank more competitive, improve its reputation and increase colleague engagement – delivering the three-year growth strategy a year early.

In her time as CEO, pre-tax profits have more than doubled, and customer lending and deposits both increased by almost 20%. Meanwhile, she has driven efficiency, resource costs have been reduced by 15%, while increasing digital investment. Over 90% of all bank transactions and 70% of all product sales are through digital channels, including new video sales for mortgages which have contributed to a 18% growth in secured lending and annual increases in market share. Debbie has overseen record-breaking mortgage performance. In 2021 the bank has recorded both its highest day and month of mortgage trading in TSB’s history, as well as picking up industry awards for products and services.

Prior to TSB, Debbie had extensive experience of leading turnaround strategies and, while Acting CEO of Clydesdale Bank, led preparations for its successful demerger and subsequent IPO. Debbie has overseen the execution of several far-reaching transformation projects.

Debbie is a Non-Executive Director at SSE plc. She also sits on the CBI President’s Committee and is a member of the Glasgow Economic Leadership Board and the Strathclyde University Business School Advisory Board. Debbie was Vice Chair of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Scotland Council for two years until 2019 and was a Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Court Service for over three years. In 2015 Debbie became the first female executive to sign Scottish banknotes and in 2016 she was the University of Strathclyde’s Alumna of the Year.

Debbie holds an honours degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Strathclyde and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Debbie lives in Stirlingshire and is married with a teenage daughter.

Kevin Parry OBE

Kevin joined Nationwide Building Society as a non-Executive Director in 2016 and has been the Senior Independent Director since January 2020.  He was appointed Deputy Chairman and Chairman elect in September 2021. He is also Chairman of Royal London Mutual Insurance Society and a non-Executive Director at Daily Mail and General Trust plc.