08 Jan 2024

Nationwide vows not to leave Sandbach as it reinforces commitment to UK high streets

  • Despite a population of around 18,000, Nationwide is the last financial services provider in Sandbach
  • Nationwide reiterates Branch Promise that everywhere it has a branch it will remain until at least 2026
  • Sandbach branch has been proudly on the high street since 1969 – the same year as the moon landing
  • More than three quarters (77%) of people value or depend on branches, research from Nationwide shows

Nationwide has committed to staying in Sandbach as the town becomes one of many across the UK impacted by unprecedented branch closures in recent years.  

Despite Sandbach having a population of 18,000c, Nationwide is now the last branch standing following the closure of NatWest in 2023. Britain’s biggest building society is reaffirming its commitment to communities by continuing to offer face-to-face service. Nationwide's Branch Promise means everywhere it has a branch it will remain until at least 2026. It now has the biggest banking branch network in the UK3.

As banks have shifted their focus away from physical branches in recent years, Sandbach is not the only town where Nationwide is now the last branch on the high street. Over 80 communities up and down the country have been left with just a Nationwide branch. The Sandbach branch has been in town since 1969 – the same year as Neil Armstrong became the first person to land on the moon and a time when there were multiple bank branches.

Nationwide believes that a local banking presence is more than a financial service – it is a cornerstone of community relationships, which is why they serve more than 8,500 customers across the town. Nationwide’s research1 found that being able to speak to someone face-to-face (44%) was cited as the main reason why people who use branches value them.

The Sandbach branch remains busy today, with ATM usage up 46 per cent in the last 12 months.

Nationwide also recently launched its Safe Space initiative, with Sandbach among the branches involved, offering discreet support for anyone facing domestic abuse, not just Nationwide customers. This initiative provides a suitable environment for anyone needing to make calls to third-party experts and helplines. Sandbach branch colleagues have received specialised training to help support those experiencing abuse, including helping them manage their finances, providing access to a specialist support team and other resources. 

Nicola Brennan, Sandbach Branch Manager commented: “We understand that our customers are not just account holders - they‘re neighbours, friends, and integral members of the Sandbach community. The decision to maintain our high street branch reflects our dedication to local communities. We remain steadfast in continuing to provide a warm and welcoming environment where customers can receive personalised attention, guidance, and support for their financial needs. High streets need as much support as possible at this time and we look forward to welcoming more Sandbach residents to experience what face-to-face banking at their local branch means.”

Regionally, Nationwide has donated £121,500 to four local charities across Cheshire over the last two years through its Community Board2.

Notes to editors

1 Based on a nationally representative survey conducted by Censuswide of 2,037 UK consumers, carried out by Nationwide in September 2022.  Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council. 

2 Community Boards in Cheshire

Charity Name



Amount Awarded

The National House Project




Crewe YMCA




Neuromuscular Centre








3 CACI - Branch banking | Nationwide