A Santander advert has brought complaints against Nationwide, who is currently under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ad features actor Dominic West portraying a boss of a fake big bank that mocks customers and plans branch closures.
The controversial ad was released by Nationwide in October of last year and has faced criticism since its release. The ASA received a complaint about the ad shortly after it aired, and the investigation is still ongoing. In the ad, West presents a large expenses bill for a company lunch while discussing cutbacks and branch closures.
Nationwide’s claims in the ad come at a time when several High Street banks, including Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest, and Santander, have announced branch closures due to customers increasingly moving to online banking. However, Nationwide has made a “branch promise” to keep all of its existing branches open until at least 2026, unless there are “circumstances outside of our control.”
Santander argues that the ad is misleading and discredits its competitors. They have not commented on the matter despite being complained against. A spokesperson for the ASA confirmed that the complaint is being investigated but no official decision has been made yet. Nationwide emphasizes their belief that face-to-face banking is important especially as big banks continue to close branches.