Francis Walsh, director of technology at Nationwide, is retiring after 31 years with the company. When he started in 1974, the building society was running an IBM 360 mainframe: it was the era of punch-cards and paper tape.
In the years since, Walsh has seen the building society move to intelligent terminals, branch controllers and now, PCs.
Reflecting on his career at Nationwide, Walsh said, "Miniaturisation has been the biggest thing. PCs have a hundred times the capacity of our original mainframe." Branches were once connected by 300 bits per second lines. Now, he said, bandwidth is almost unlimited.
The highlight of his time at Nationwide was the ability of his team to provide high service levels for the business, said Walsh, and the reputation as a technical pioneer that Nationwide has achieved.
Michael Humphreys, head of technology development at Nationwide, will be the new director of technology.