In its results for 2014 / 2015, the building society said it was planning to invest £500m in its branch network over the next five years.
In an interview following the release of the results, group director Alison Robb said the branch investment which involved enhancements in technology was designed to increase its capability for a greater capacity of direct sales.
“At the moment if you go into branch to book an appointment to see the mortgage adviser that could take a couple of days because they are busy,” said Robb.
“The aim is that you can come in and we can get you in front of someone at your convenience without having to book an appointment. That’s the position that we are hoping to get to.”
She added: “By the end of this calendar year we’ll have that capability in about 400 branches so it is absolutely right to say that we are looking to increase our direct mortgage sales capacity over the planned period.”
Speaking at a conference last week, chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries Robert Sinclair warned brokers to expect an attack on their dominant market share in 18 months’ to two years’ time.
Nationwide said its current split of intermediary and direct mortgage sales was broadly in line with the wider market, with a two-thirds versus one-third split in favour of the intermediary channel.
Nationwide said it was not going public with its market share target for direct mortgage sales as a result of its branch investment.