How Nationwide is using fintech to tackle the first-time buyer housing crisis

By David Beach | 10 July 2018

Property and banking are intimately entwined, yet it is remarkable how little impact fintech has had on the property market - until now.

With home ownership in England now at its lowest in 30 years and the average age of a first-time buyer now 32, it is no surprise that millennials have been dubbed ‘generation rent’; one third of current 25-34 year olds will never own their own home.

But this generation, accounting for one third of the workforce, and the first true digital natives, are an incredibly respondent market base to new, alternative and tech facilitated services. At least if the popularity and traction of the challenger banks is anything to go by.

If the financial industry has been slow to innovate, property has been even slower. It is ripe for innovation, with an entire generation willing to give new tech a go.

Now, Nationwide, the UK’s oldest building society, has announced a £50m fintech fund with the aim of providing a positive societal impact and delivering real value to customers.

“We’ve been innovating since our inception 130 years ago,” says Emma Huntington, who leads Innovation and Venturing at Nationwide, explaining how the founders of the building society had thought differently about the property market, put money into a collective pot until they all had their own home.

In this podcast, Huntington goes into detail about the fund’s first partnership, Nationwide’s broader innovation strategy and just what the scope is for innovating the property financing system.

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