Chris Rhodes, Group Product and Marketing Director, replies:
As part of an ongoing review of distribution arrangements, we withdrew from third-party agencies on 31 December 2010.
During these difficult times, every penny that we spend on unprofitable activity stops us returning value to our members in the form of better rates and products. Regrettably, it's no longer economically sustainable for us to operate an agency network which 95 per cent of our members never used, and only two per cent of our members used as their sole means of transacting with Nationwide.
We appreciate that this will affect some of our members, but by withdrawing from agencies, we have managed to avoid having to make major changes to our other distribution channels.
There are a number of ways our members can access our products and services, including a large network of around 700 branches across the UK, a full telephone service and Internet Banking service, all of which are increasingly popular with customers of all ages.
Members wanting to make a deposit can do so in a number of ways: via the branch network, electronically by depositing from one account to another via the online bank (the Faster Payments service is available on all FlexAccounts), or by post - cheques can be sent for deposit into specific accounts.
FlexAccount customers can withdraw money or check their balance at Post Office counters. However, we do like customers to come into our branches whenever they can as our staff are there to answer any questions about their transactions.