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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)