Taking the ‘hard’ out of hardship

  • Full Year Results

In FY23, NAB Assist’s Iqbal Nor has helped NAB customers experiencing financial hardship get back on their feet.

  • 09.11.2023
  • Time to read 1 min read


A NAB customer with her two young children
Casey and her kids

Single mother of two, Casey, was working around the clock at a food manufacturer to support her kids and cover her mortgage.

But when her employer cut all overtime, she fell behind on her repayments and was put in touch with NAB Assist Customer Care Associate, Iqbal Nor.

“It was a very stressful time in my life, and I was too scared to call the bank for help,” she said. “From the moment Iqbal contacted me, he was amazing.

“He listened to my story without any judgement, and he worked with me on a plan to help me get back on track with my repayments.”

Iqbal cares

NAB Assist colleague Iqbar Nor feeding one of his foster cats.
NAB Assist colleague Iqbar Nor feeding one of his foster cats.

Caring for others is in Iqbal’s DNA. Outside of his day job in NAB Assist, he’s a foster parent for abandoned pets.

“I’ve fostered over thirty cats so far, but I’ve also had turtles and other animals,” Iqbal said.

It’s this nurturing instinct that makes Iqbal and his NAB Assist colleagues so motivated to help when customers such as Casey experience hardship.

“I tried to give Casey the support she needed, whenever she needed it, and made sure she didn’t feel embarrassed to ask for help,” he said.

“I wanted her to know that if you miss a payment, it’s OK, we could work it out together.

“It’s rewarding when customers know you’re there to help them. I was able to help Casey and see her all the way through.”

700 qualified colleagues

NAB CEO Ross McEwan
NAB CEO Ross McEwan

The past 12 months have been challenging for many Aussies such as Casey.

“The overall increase in cost of living is hurting, and some customers are feeling it more than others.  We’re here to help,” NAB CEO Ross McEwan said.

“We’ve added an additional 120 people in NAB Assist to support customers receiving hardship assistance and manage a 61% increase in calls over 2023.”

NAB Assist has more than 700 qualified colleagues who support customers experiencing all sorts of financial challenges.

“Most of my job is working with people who’ve fallen on hard times, whether that be the loss of job, or a loved one, breakdown of a marriage, or dealing with a sudden major illness,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal and his NAB Assist colleagues work with customers to create a tailored plan that best suits their needs. This can include temporary repayment holidays, temporarily reduced repayments, or restructuring a loan.

“I enjoy hearing their personal story and working with them on a tailored plan to help them get back on their feet,” Iqbal said.

Banking between the flags

An example of NAB’s ‘Red Flags’ campaign to raise awareness of frauds and scams

Another challenge during the past 12 months has been the increase in scams and fraud activity impacting Australians.

“Scams and frauds are an epidemic and defending against these multinational, organised crime groups remains a key priority for us,” Ross McEwan said.

Iqbal knows too well how tricky scammers can be. A few years back, the ATO identified red flags that something wasn’t quite right with his tax return.

Having been so close to being scammed himself, Iqbal supports everything NAB is doing to help inform and protect our customers.

“We have a significant pipeline of improvements to make our customers safer,” Ross said. “Among those already delivered are stopping the use of links in texts and partnering with telcos to limit spoofing scams.”

“We are also working with others across government, corporates and communities to educate customers and implement tools that can help keep our customers safe.”

This year, NAB has added a further 70 colleagues to our investigations and fraud team, taking the total team size to more than 470.  
NAB also offers free online security webinars for customers and the community. Visit nab.com.au/security and sign-up today.

Iqbal and NAB are here to help

NAB colleague Iqbal holding two neonatal cats
Iqbal and two of his cats

Iqbal wants all Australians is to ask for help if they need it.

“My message to anyone who’s struggling financially would be to get in touch with us early,” he said. “We’re here to help.”

When customers reach out to NAB early, Iqbal’s team helps get people back on their feet.

“I want others in my position to know there’s no shame in asking for help,” Casey said.

“This was such a positive experience for me. I wanted to keep working with Iqbal even after I was back on track.

“He assured me that we wouldn’t need to speak again any time soon, but if I did call again one day, he’d be happy to help.”

Visit NAB’s Financial Hardship page if you’re a NAB customer and need support from Iqbal and NAB Assist.

For more about NAB in 2023, see our 2023 Full Year Results and 2023 Annual Reporting suite.

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Quick links

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