- First Published 09.11.2021
ST. ALi is one of many businesses that NAB backed to grow amidst the challenges presented by COVID-19. NAB has also delivered strong growth across its Business and Private Bank.
- 1 min read
Australia is opening up again, people are out enjoying life, and businesses right across the country are bouncing back. NAB has supported customers through the pandemic, while also delivering strong growth across its Business and Private Bank.
ST. ALi is one of many businesses that NAB has backed to diversify and grow amidst the challenges presented by COVID-19.
From caffeine to caviar
Self-confessed ‘frustrated creative’ Salvatore Malatesta founded ST. ALi in Melbourne almost 18 years ago to celebrate coffee in its purest form. ST. ALi is now an iconic business in one of the coffee capitals of the world.
Salvatore’s creative streak also led to ST. ALi producing hand sanitiser in early 2020. This was one of many strategic decisions made throughout the pandemic that has contributed to ST. ALi not only surviving but thriving.
“We saw alternate opportunities, we embraced those opportunities and we backed them,” said Salvatore, speaking from his roasting base in South Melbourne.
“We bought a large amount of ethanol on an idea. We were able to save 72 full time jobs for people who were otherwise involved in the coffee roasting, coffee sourcing or coffee making part of our business.
“We have grown our online database to 150,000 people which allowed us to understand that people trust us. We have ended up selling everything from caviar, to bacon and eggs, to masks.”
ST. ALi also hired a food scientist, released an iced coffee product and renovated its flagship café in South Melbourne.
NAB’s Group Executive for Business and Private Banking, Andrew Irvine, is buoyed by the confidence and resilience of business owners and the wider community.
“There is such energy in the air right now. That’s all thanks to the millions of Australians who have rolled up their sleeves for a jab,” he said.
Andrew credits the success of NAB’s Business and Private bank over the past year to maintaining strong connections with businesses, hiring 550 more bankers to be where customers need them, and work behind the scenes to streamline business lending.
“This has all helped NAB’s Business and Private Bank grow despite intense competition. We’ve managed to extend our market leadership over the last year with SME lending up 7% on FY20, market share in both SME and agri lending increasing, and business transaction account openings up 18% on FY20,” Andrew said.
“We are so proud to have been able to back businesses like ST. ALi to grow and thrive despite all the challenges thrown at them. For us, the most important thing has been a return to the foundations of brilliant banking – staying connected to our customers and building strong relationships,” Andrew said.
NAB’s 2000 plus bankers are back out in force seeing customers face to face again. The focus now is on backing businesses that are looking to stock up, refresh their operations, innovate or even expand.
“The fantastic news for businesses is that they can now look forward to increasing levels of certainty,” Andrew said.
“Our early transaction data shows that people are out, spending big. This is great news especially for those in the retail and hospitality sectors. There’s clearly a lot of pent up demand and Australians are eager to see the summer in with renewed social freedoms.”
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