02 Oct 2018

NAB to keep branches open in drought-affected Australia

NAB has today announced it is backing communities across regional and rural Australia, and will keep its branches open in drought-affected regions.

NAB Chief Customer Officer of Consumer Banking, Mike Baird, said the decision is a result of community feedback, and demonstrates NAB’s commitment to supporting its customers during difficult times.

“We know many of our customers in regional and rural areas are facing tough conditions as a result of the drought, and we want to be able to support them when they need it the most,” Mr Baird said.

“This is part of our commitment to do better, and to be better, by responding to the needs of our customers.

“We are always looking at how we can better support towns and communities right across the country, and so we are committing to keeping our regional and rural branches in drought-affected regions open while they remain in drought.”

Since July, NAB senior leaders have visited regional and rural communities across Australia to hear from customers, farmers, local businesses and community organisations.

“We want to better understand and support our customers so we can once again be the bank that they trust and respect,” Mr Baird said.

“We have made a number of changes as a result of the feedback we have received from communities across Australia, with more to come.”

In July, NAB announced that customers in regional and rural Australia would be able to receive the financial benefit of being able to offset their Farm Management Deposit (FMD) against their agricultural lending in the form of a discount to their lending interest rate.

NAB also announced a Drought Assistance Package to support customers enduring prolonged drought conditions, and also now no longer charges a higher default interest rates for agribusiness customers affected by drought who are in hardship and behind on their repayments.

Today’s announcement follows NAB’s decision last week to reverse its decision to close its Dungog Branch in regional NSW. NAB also did not proceed with the planned closure of its Narooma branch in regional NSW in August, following extensive community consultation.

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