04 Oct 2019

NAB makes Indigenous financial resilience a priority

NAB and Australia’s largest microfinance charity, Good Shepherd Microfinance have joined to improve the financial resilience and capability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NAB Head of Financial Health and Resilience, Elliot Anderson said recent research revealed almost half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are experiencing severe or high levels of financial stress.

“We know there is a significant gap between the financial resilience of Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians and we are committed to closing this gap,” Mr Anderson said.

“That’s why we have teamed up with Good Shepherd Microfinance to build economic prosperity by providing on the ground grants to local community organisations who can make a real impact.

“From Cairns in North Queensland to Broome in Western Australia and everywhere in between, we want to support all Australians no matter where they live to become financially healthy and empowered when it comes to their money.”

Good Shepherd Microfinance CEO, Peter McNamara said grants of up to $10,000 had been awarded to 27 not-for-profit organisations in Good Shepherd Microfinance’s community provider network to run a range of projects appropriate in their local communities.

“In partnership with NAB we are really pleased to kick-start some local initiatives, to help community groups hold financial literacy workshops, create in-language educational resources and provide easier access to the No Interest Loan Scheme,” Mr McNamara said.

“With 25 per cent of our No Interest Loan Scheme clients identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, we expect the new Indigenous Money Network will extend the scheme’s availability.”

The community organisations include the Weipa Community Care Association Inc. in Queensland who will be providing delivering budgeting workshops to local Indigenous people in their community and the Forster Neighbourhood Centre that will be introducing Home Finance Kits and running workshops on topics such as Don’t Get Caught in the Pay Day Lender’s Trap.

Through NAB’s support, Good Shepherd Microfinance has also employed two Indigenous Australians, based in Cairns, to administer and support the Network.

Mr Anderson said through NAB’s partnership with Good Shepherd Microfinance the bank has provided more than $15 million in no and low-interest loans to Indigenous Australians since 2015.

“We are committed to helping more Indigenous Australian’s access our banking services. The Indigenous Money Network is an important step, as is the introduction of our Indigenous Customer Service Line, to better assist our customers living in remote areas,” Mr Anderson said.

 

About Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB’s partnership:

  • For 16 years NAB and Good Shepherd Microfinance have been working together with the support of State and Federal governments to help provide financial resources, education and microfinance products Australians who may not typically qualify for bank products and services, to build their financial resilience and provide them with a safe alternative to payday loans.
  • Through this partnership we’ve helped provide more than 200,000 microfinance loans worth more than $250 million. These no and low interest loans help Australians living on low incomes to purchase essential goods and services like household appliances, medical expenses, cars or computers – items that may seem small but make a big difference to people’s lives.
  • Since 2015 we have provided more than 20,000 no and low-interest loans to Indigenous Australians, equating to more than $15 million. We’ll continue to build on this partnership and the number of loans we provide to Indigenous Australians and aim to reach more than 6,000 clients each year.

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