NATIONWIDE have announced plans to invest an extra £1.3 billion in digital technology over the next five years, promising to create up to an additional 1,000 jobs.

The building society, which employs around 7,000 people at its HQ and branches in Swindon and has 15 million members across the UK, has said the move is to meet the demand for more digital services and to get ready for newer technologies like artificial intelligence.

The investment – totalling £4.1 billion in total – will also go towards the creation of a technology hub employing between 750 – 1000 people.

CEO Joe Garner said growing demand and a ‘seismic shift’ in expectations of consumers to expect digital services and provide reassurance of digital security.

“At a time when customer expectations of service are rapidly changing in a digital world we believe that our members want a combination of human service on the high street, as well as digital convenience.

“Data and digital security is as important as a human service in retaining our member’s trust.

“We’ve gone from a do-it-for-me age, where someone filled up your car for you at a petrol station…then technology and the internet brought the do-it-yourself-era, with one-click ordering and same-day deliveries,” he said.

The company has seen 200 million more logins on the mobile app last year than the previous year.

“Even as consumers are still adapting to existing technologies. New ones are knocking at the door. We’re about to enter the next era, one where artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud and automation, will continue to predict and meet our needs for us.”

But he also reassured those who might still want to visit a branch to do their banking in-person.

“This is not about moving away from the high street, “he added.

“We remained committed to retain a network of 650 branches. Our investment in technology is not a substitute for face-to-face service."

The company, the largest member-owned building society in the UK without shareholders, was awarded Which? Banking grand of the year for the second year in a row in 2018.