Nationwide Discontinues Support for Microsoft Money Syncing

I would consider myself to be “fairly good” with money; I like to try and save, I obsessively check my bank balance, and I use Microsoft Money 2005 to keep track of where it goes.
Microsoft Money is a fantastic little tool, even though I use very little of it’s capabilities. The ones I use mainly involve graphs and trends, and if you know me at all that won’t surprise you. It will learn that transactions with Sainsbury’s are food, and Shell is diesel. Over time it will provide me with graphs to tell me “Hey, your spending on food has increased 13% to £X” or “You realise you never spend anything on computer games but you do now?”

Of course, most people cannot be bothered with the sheer boredom of entering every transaction into Money. Some people can’t even be bothered to open a browser, log into to their online banking, download the CSV, import it, make sure it all makes sense… I am one of these people.

Until the 22nd of October 2009 Nationwide were the only bank in the UK to support completely automatic downloading of all your banking data and statements into Money. They were the only bank to EVER support it. Whereas it’s very common in the US for banks to do so, for some reason it never got a lot of interest in the UK which I think it a shame; I’ve been using it for at least 5 years through different versions of Microsoft Money and it’s worked flawlessly since then. I open Money and it instantly downloads all my new transactions, and all I have to do is approve them. It will even understands the difference between savings accounts, current accounts and credit cards, and what you get out is quick and easy to understand graphs and if you want, tips on saving money/paying off debts etc.

But now, all this is no more. Tonight I was only greeted with an error. A quick search on the Nationwide site reveals that just 4 days ago Nationwide shut off this service for good. I suppose I can’t be all that surprised, given that Microsoft hasn’t released a new version of Money for quite some time. Some Googling presents a quote supposedly from Nationwide:

“The decision to stop the Microsoft Money service, after so many years
is primarily due to the provider stopping their own support for the
product. As they assist us with any technical issues and licence us to
provide a dedicated server for this system and we will no longer be able
to do so from 22nd October, the service is no longer available. Please
note this software does not access our main online bank, as you do from
our homepage, it uses a special server designed and maintained under an
agreement from Microsoft they are no longer providing.”

These words are oh so familiar and makes the cut-off even less surprising: special server, license, support… I’m sure there is a lot of good reasons behind the scenes for the cut-off and with Microsoft powering the backend the end date was always going to come.

I do wonder, however, just how many people this affected. There was no communication at all from Nationwide or Microsoft; and searching for the issue online provides many blogs and forum posts of disgruntled users, who no longer have quick and easy access to their data. I do half wonder whether I could find out the file format of the system (OFX is a standard, if it does indeed use that) and write my own proxy that logs in and turns the data into something Money can understand. This is made even more necessary because apparently Money won’t accept a CSV, it will only accept OFX (which seems reasonably given OFX is an open standard for financial data exchange) and Nationwide won’t/don’t provide this. If they did, making the few extra steps to import my data wouldn’t be such a big deal, but as it stands it’s a huge pain.

18 thoughts on “Nationwide Discontinues Support for Microsoft Money Syncing”

  1. I fully agree with what you have said, the Nation wide automatic download was an extremely useful feature.

    Do you know of any file converters that will convert the CSV files to OFX, I have so far been unsuccessful in locating one.


  2. I’ve just tried MT2OFX ( which can deal specifically with Nationwide CSV files. It works satisfactorily with files downloaded from Nationwide’s bank accounts but, when I tried it with a credit card file, it asked for my credit card number and I chickened out.

    Incidentally, Nationwide’s statement that you can download your statements in CSV format isn’t entirely true. If your credit-card transactions aren’t recent, you’re stuck with getting them out of a PDF file (always called statement.pdf – how user-friendly is that?).

    Finally, one could ask why Nationwide don’t provide downloads in OFX format as an option.

  3. I have Googled .csv to .ofx converters but those found don’t work with the Nationwide data. Presumably this is because, as Ian H says, they are not truely in csv format.
    I have contacted Nationwide and whilst quite pleasant simply say they cannot support MS Money and cannot offer any help. They feel that having put the notice of discontinuation of support on their homepage was sufficient. Unfortunately they don’t seem to realise that as Money users we didnt go to the home page!
    If anyone knows of a bank which can help us I would be very grateful.

  4. I just noticed I had not had info updated in Nationwide for a while, and saw there was an error and and first thought it was temporarily broken – but on searching found this blog. Nice of them to tell us – they should have known who used the MsMoney features from the accounts that used the interface, and so could have sent a letter. One of the prime reasons I used Nationwide was because of auto-import into Moneyon a daily basis, making it easy to enter transactions and ensuring they are not forgotten.

    With Halifax, thought it does not have the day-to-day update feature, when you get a statement you can download the MsMoney (OFX) file and import it into money in order to help reconcile accounts.

  5. Can I support all the above comments. I am extremely disappointed that this facility has been withdrawn, though even more disappointed that Microsoft no longer support Money, which I’ve been happily using for years.

  6. I’m another one who has used Money and Nationwide for years and not looking forward to going back to checking my statement off each month! Will try the converters to see if they work.

  7. Hi Laurie – found your article whilst searching about the Nationwide shut-down.

    A few people in the Wesabe forum share your opinions. A dedicated site has sprung out of that forum, to aggregate everyone’s comments.

    It would be cool if you and your readers would leave a comment and re-tweet (if you’re a Twitter user)

    If we can concentrate the feedback and show the guys from Nationwide how important this is, we’re hoping they will re-consider.

    Hope to see you there

  8. Hi all – can I urge you all to take this up with Nationwide direct through the secure messaging service inside the NW online banking web site AND by telephone asking to be put through to customer services or the online banking team.

    If enough of us do it, hopefully they might listen and reinstate the ability for Money to automatically download transactions again.

    Let’s try and get this sorted!

  9. I’ve found a conversion programme that works. It’s called MT2OFX.exe. The only thing is you need to go, on your accounts page, to the full version and set it to only download items after the last date you downloaded — otherwise it may duplicate some things. I’ve lodged an official complaint with Nationwide over the way they didn’t notify us properly of this change. For many people, it’s taken away their main reason for staying with them.

  10. Sigh, Yes I also used the auto update feature, for the last ten years, so also very disappointed they have stopped, I will complain on line and in person they should (from reading this blog) support an OFX download so we can continue easy downloading and updating of our accounts.


  11. I am a long time user (15+ years) of MSMoney and Nationwide. I found it invaluable to keep on top of my finances.
    Shouldn’t the banks be encouraging and supporting online banking? They are happy for me to act as an unpaid teller. I cant believe it is that onerous a task to support the MSMoney file exchange format?
    I have written to Nationwide to complain, and I encourage you all to do the same.
    Another line-item on my ‘Why I hate UK Banks’, list…

  12. One thing nobody has mentioned — as Nationwide account holders, we are also shareholders. That means we have a vote. Maybe we should use it.

  13. I agree with everything said here about the loss of the service. I have used Nationwide Internet banking since the day it started and have used MS Money since it first worked with the system. This for me is the latest indication that this institution is not as robust as I always trusted. On several fronts I have noticed a fall off in service, the internal oraganisation of the society appears to me to be in disarray, more often nowadays from Nationwide staff I hear “I am sorry you have found that to be the case’ or ‘I can only apologise for that’; these are the expressions of helpless people working in an oragnisation that is losing it’s grip. Nationwide is sliding downhill fast in my opinion. I believe serious cutbacks are taking place in Nationwide and at the highest levels I suspect there is concern for the Nationwide’s viability. I for one am getting out.

  14. Very very disappointed, the main reason for me moving my main account to Nationwide in 2005 was the fact that they had full support for MS Money!
    Nothing really to keep me with them now!

  15. I chose Nationwide specifically because it offered the facility to integrate with Microsoft Money. I have 7 different flexaccounts and savings accounts and for many years the integration worked perfectly. My principal account averages 100 transactions a month so I was very disappointed when Nationwide withdrew the integration facility. I have written to customer services but only got the standard reply.

    I have tried out a number of different shareware programmes but none work properly. Does anyone found a reliable program that converts from .csv into a format Money can read?

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