NAB steps-up its strategic business services

NAB increases Strategic Business Services division to support businesses through challenging financial climate

National Australia Bank (NAB) is increasing its Strategic Business Services (SBS) division to support businesses through the challenging financial climate.

Over the coming months, the bank will lift its number of specialists from 120 to 140, in a move to provide further intensive assistance and advice to clients.

NAB Business Banking Group Executive, Joseph Healy, says supporting business customers through changing market conditions is part of the bank’s unique service.

"Our bankers maintain a regular dialogue with customers to ensure we have the right support in place to help them navigate their business through the current environment," he says.

"It’s extremely encouraging to know that 70 percent of businesses that enter the SBS process continue to have viable business models and are supported through a turnaround process."

NAB has tailored its banking model for business customers by providing dedicated business bankers who are supported by local credit partners and specialists.

These teams have a detailed understanding of local business conditions and an ability to respond quickly to customer needs.

There are more than 2,000 business bankers located in 219 sites around Australia.

Each centre has a senior credit partner on site, who is available to speak with customers face-to-face.

"Our assistance to business customers is guided by our commitment to do everything we can to help our customers remain in business. Measures are aimed at addressing issues at an early stage," Healy says.

"We have a portfolio review group to work with bankers and customers at a very early stage - the point of potential problems - to ensure that any issues can be addressed quickly and effectively before they become entrenched problems."

Specific solutions NAB offers to ease pressure on businesses vary across different industries and business models, but may include:

Tailoring facilities to support clients’ cash flow:

  • Extending the loan term
  • Reducing repayments for a negotiated period of time
  • Deferring repayments for a period of time
  • Redrawing from the loan if ahead of repayment schedule
  • Moving from a principal-and-interest facility to an interest-only facility
  • Implementing an interest capitalisation solution where the customer makes no repayments and the accrued interest is added to the loan balance each month.

Risk Management:

  • Interest rate strategies to protect part / all debt against rate rises
  • Foreign exchange hedging to protect profit margins and give certainty around cost
  • Specialists from NAB Markets can be engaged to implement hedging strategies that will allow businesses to have certainty and also benefit from any market movements.

"Small businesses that are having difficulty servicing loans should immediately raise this with their NAB business banker," Healy says.

"We have specialist teams who can support businesses in financial difficulty by providing assistance to help them find the best possible way to regain and maintain control over their finances."

NAB is hosting series of breakfast seminars for businesses across the country over the coming month called "Get Better Connected".

Queensland’s breakfast will be held in Brisbane on Friday, May 22, at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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