CORRECTED-Nationwide's new customers rise 20 percent, boosting profit

Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:44am EST

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(Corrects period end to December)

LONDON Feb 20 (Reuters) - Nationwide, Britain's biggest customer-owned lender, said the number of customers opening new personal current accounts rose by 20 percent in the nine months to end December.

The increase helped Britain's third-biggest mortgage lender more than double underlying profit to 539 million pounds ($901 million) during the period.

Nationwide is seeking to challenge the dominance of Britain's five biggest banks - Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC and Santander UK ($1 = 0.5983 British pounds) (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Huw Jones)