National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced that its Medfin Finance team has signed a 10-year strategic partnership with medical indemnity insurance provider and mutual Avant Mutual, and its lending subsidiary, Kooyong Group.
Medfin Finance provides financial solutions, loans, and equipment finance for doctors, dentists, and veterinarians, and their practices.
Under the partnership, Medfin’s products will be white labelled and provided by Kooyong Group to Avant’s 78,000 practitioner and medical student members. The partnership will provide customers with access to NAB’s business solutions through Kooyong’s financial professionals’ part of the Avant Group.
NAB group executive for business and private banking Andrew Irvine said that the partnership is a part of the major bank’s strategy to continue to grow market share in specialised sectors like healthcare.
Mr Irvine said: “Our business for specialised professional customers such as GPs and dentists has grown 7.5 per cent over the past 12 months.
“This partnership with Avant will extend NAB’s services even further by building on our expert knowledge in the sector and our network of more than 250 specialised health bankers.”
Avant Mutual group chief executive and managing director Natasha Fenech commented that Avant has grown from its traditional base of medical indemnity insurance and has remained “focused on finding ways to add value to our members’ personal and professional lives”.
“We are committed to supporting our members across their professional and personal lives with partnerships such as this allowing them to access market-leading products from organisations who have a deep understanding of them and the medical environment,” she said.
NAB has been operating Medfin over the past 30 years, along with HICAPS over the past 20 years, and NAB Health for more than 15 years.
The mutual lending sector has been going through a period of consolidation amid rising cost pressures.
In the past month, two mergers have taken place in the sector between Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank, and Heritage Bank and People’s Choice.
Meanwhile, Teachers Mutual Bank Ltd and Pulse Credit Union also recently indicated that they were inching closer to a merger after receiving approval from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
The prudential regulatory warned last year that mutual banks may need to explore merger options if they face significant financial stress.
According to S&P Global, the rise in mutual mergers is a reflection of changing attitudes from management, while margin headwinds could persist amid rising costs for technology maintenance and regulation.
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Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.