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Nationwide gets the best press

Nationwide Building Society got the most positive press coverage in October, according to PressWatch&#39s financial services survey.

The survey says the society has benefited from campaigns against ATM charges and the closures of bank branches.

This is the eighth time since November 1999 that Nationwide has topped the PressWatch table.

In second place was Fid elity, largely due to reviews of its fund supermarket, with 44 positive mentions over the last month. A number of Fid elity funds also got positive press coverage in October.

Jumping to third place from sixth in September was Halifax after it offered interest rates of up to 4 per cent on its current accounts.

Some of the Halifax coverage was negative, with criticism aimed at its online broker service ShareXpress.

At the other end of the table, Lloyds TSB was taken to task for dragging its heels in switching customer acc ounts, CGNU was criticised for its underperforming unit trusts and Pearl Assurance was highlighted for having the worst problems with failing mortgage endowments.

Rounding up the top 10 for best overall coverage were Abbey National&#39s online bank Cahoot, fund managers Aber deen Asset Manage ment and Henderson Invest ors, Prudential&#39s Egg, Standard Life, Smile and Legal& General.

Nationwide media relations manager Alan Oliver says: “Getting positive press coverage is extremely important to us because we are constantly involved in the process of explaining the differences between being with a bank and being with a building society.”

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