Victorians are ready

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Victorians are ready.

Ready to eat at a restaurant. Ready to go meet friends at a pub and well and truly ready to get their long locks tamed at the hairdresser.

I’m ready too. The whole family is double-vaxxed and the top priorities for us when lockdown ends in Melbourne, is having a bite to eat at the pub, all getting our hair cut and visiting our local book shop in person – much better than click and collect.

NAB research released today shows just what Victorians will prioritise after seeing family and friends.

They’re things that were once a natural part of all our daily lives, things we didn’t think twice about, and even took for granted. They are human things that touch every one of our senses, like the noise of a bustling restaurant, the smell of our cafe or bar, the laughter and chatter of our frequented hairdresser, to name a few.

Every one of us has been touched by COVID-19.

Working from home. Zoom. Home schooling. QR codes. Masks. And Repeat. It’s been tough. As a mother of three teenaged children, days have seemed like weeks, which turned into months. No one has been immune. Weddings, holidays, the Grand Final have been off the cards and rendered most of us house bound, for a very, very long time.

During the early peak of the pandemic NAB added more than 1,000 extra people to our frontline teams to support customers. Thankfully, the bulk of customers are back on track, however some customers still need further support and we will continue to be there for them.  We’re looking forward to welcoming them back into our branches.

COVID has changed the way our customers bank with us, with more than 93 per cent of banking done online. Before the pandemic hit, no NAB home lending appointments took place via video. Now, more than 40 per cent or thousands of conversations are over video every month.

While we have all moved online and, as a bank, we have invested in better digital options for our customers, we are human when it matters. And right now, it matters, a lot.

Victorians are saying they’re going to splurge as soon as lockdown is over. Our state and capital city – known for sporting events, arts and culture, foodie scene and diverse community – is ready to wake from its slumber. If you thought getting a grand final ticket was hard, try getting a table at a restaurant on Saturday night. The bounce back is real, and it’s started strongly.

Getting as many Australians vaccinated is key to unlocking greater freedoms and protects our customers and the community, such as a weekend away in regional Victoria or retail therapy at a shopping centre.  This will help support our small businesses and drive the economic bounce back. I’m looking forward to doing all those things, and more. Just try and stop me.

Rachel Slade is a mum, a wife, and Group Executive for Personal Banking at NAB

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