Nationwide’s takeover of Virgin Money should be stopped and members must be consulted, says a petition signed by hundreds of people.

The petition, presented to headquarters at Pipers Way in Swindon, demands members of the world's largest building society have a say in the purchase.

It warns the £2.9 billion takeover would create huge problems for the Swindon-based society.

Mikael Armstrong, who started the petition, said: “My concern is that Nationwide’s sole ethos is going to get flushed down the toilet.

“I think it is outrageous that these days management can make such a big decision without giving members a vote.

“Being a mutual organisation, every member should have some say in whether this should go ahead or not.”

The petition states about the purchase itself: “This is an outrageous show of arrogance and there is absolutely no guarantee that the acquisition of Virgin Money will benefit members in any way.”

Mikael, who lives near Newbury, has been a Nationwide member for 25 years and worked in integrating IT systems at large companies.

He warns that merging Virgin Money and Nationwide’s IT systems would create huge costs.

This is on top of the expensive cost of Virgin Money, which his petition says is 40 per cent above the bank's market value.

He suggests the money being spent on Virgin Money be reinvested directly into Nationwide’s services to provide its own offering.

Nationwide is a building society, meaning it is owned by its members.

According to the society’s publicly available rules, 500 ‘qualified two year members’ are required to call a meeting with management, and must pay a £50 deposit.

Any resolution reached in a members meeting can be put to Nationwide’s annual general meeting if it meets certain criteria.

The petition has nearly 1,000 signatures, and Mikael brought the petition to Nationwide to say that the signatories are ready to pay the deposit.

A Nationwide spokesperson said: “Nationwide’s board believes that the acquisition of Virgin Money offers compelling benefits for the building society’s current and future members. 

“Virgin Money profits retained by the Nationwide Group will improve the financial strength of our Society. 

“This means we will be able to provide a greater level of member financial benefits and incentives, including through better savings and mortgage rates compared to the market average.

“Nationwide has communicated regularly and openly with its 16 million members, including several letters and emails. 

“It has also conducted widespread polling of its members, which has shown very strong support for the transaction.”

The full petition can be viewed here: