National Australia Bank today announced that it will keep open NAB branches located in regional and rural Australia until at least January 2021.
Speaking during a visit to Albury, Group CEO Philip Chronican said NAB was extending its existing commitment of no branch closures in drought-affected areas to all regional and rural communities across Australia.
NAB has 316 branches in regional and rural Australia, employing more than 1600 people.
“We are proud of our heritage in regional and rural Australia and we want our customers to know that our priority is to serve them,” Mr Chronican said. “We also know that regional and rural Australia is undergoing significant change – and impacts like bank branch closures are difficult for communities.
“The local NAB branch and the bankers we employ can play a key role in supporting communities and customers through change and this decision provides certainty that we will continue to be there for them.”
Closures planned for two branches, both located in regional cities that are home to multiple branch locations, are proposed to continue because of the advanced stage and significant investment in upgrading services in those cities.
As part of its commitment to regional and rural Australia, NAB last year held community forums and meetings at 13 locations across the country to hear first-hand from customers what they wanted from their bank.
NAB executives and local bankers met with customers and community stakeholders to understand how they can best serve regional and rural communities and support them through challenges and opportunities such as shifting demographics, drought, technological advances and the demand for Australian produce.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and sixth generation farmer John Anderson and Queensland educator Dr Chris Sarra, who is highly regarded for his work with indigenous communities, also advised NAB on the work.
Following the community and customer feedback, NAB will open customer connect centres in Toowoomba, Tamworth, Bendigo and Bunbury to better service regional, agribusiness and small business customers.
The centres will employ 73 specialist bankers with local experience and expertise in small business and agribusiness who will partner with regional customers to help them to grow their businesses.
The first centre opens in Toowoomba on 1 April 2019 employing 15 people while the remaining 3 centres will open later in 2019.
“We are determined to find more ways to be a better bank and will continue to take actions that put customers first,” Mr Chronican said.
NAB’s regional and rural branch numbers by state:
NSW 101 branches
Victoria 71 branches
Queensland 83 branches
Western Australia 31 branches
South Australia 17 branches
Tasmania 8 branches
Northern Territory 5 branches