One of Australia’s big four banks has highlighted its asset quality and capital position as regulatory changes look to continue in 2016.
Addressing shareholders at the NAB Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Perth on 17 December, NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn said the bank’s asset quality was “excellent” and the numbers the group had seen over the past 12 months pointed to a “strong position”.
“Our balance sheet has been strengthened by our capital raising during the year, and we thank our shareholders for your support in raising $5.5 billion,” Mr Thorburn said.
“Our capital and funding position is strong and we remain competitive with international peers,” he said. “We are well positioned for any future changes in the regulatory environment.”
Mr Thorburn provided a review of the bank’s performance over 2015, including the distribution of $73 billion of new home lending, bringing the group 169,000 new mortgage customers.
Over the past year, NAB increased the number of frontline bankers by 330. Meanwhile, business lending continues to be a core focus for the big four bank.
“We have increased our lending pledge to business customers to $2 billion a month,” Mr Thorburn said.
“This will help businesses around Australia grow and create jobs across all sectors of the economy – in agriculture, health, education, hospitality and services, to name a few,” he said.
“Our focus on improving the customer experience includes our branches and business banking centres. Increasingly, our focus is on the many new and emerging ways our customers wish to do business, and that’s why we will continue to invest in digital channels."
[Related: NAB completes US bank divestment]