The big four bank has announced that it has hired 134 mobile small-business bankers nationally to help support businesses across Australia.
The mobile bankers will have base locations in regional towns, including Warragul (Victoria), Albany (Western Australia), Lismore (NSW), Rockhampton (Queensland) and Toowoomba (Queensland).
Customers will be able to connect to their nearest small-business banker initially by phone or online.
The move aims to help support more businesses with their credit needs and take advantage of the surge in activity in the regions following the COVID-19 pandemic.
It follows on from NAB having partially closed 114 regional branches last year.
According to NAB’s group executive business and private bank, Andrew Irvine, the bankers will provide the “whole suite of services small businesses need”, including their home loans, cash flow lending and asset finance.
“Running a small business is all-encompassing, which is why our specialised bankers are out on the road, meeting customers where best suits them, whether that’s the farm table or a local coffee shop,” Mr Irvine said, adding that the team would provide “crucial” support for NAB’s 500,000 small-business customers.
“Each of these bankers will be able to provide the whole suite of services small businesses need, from their own home loans to help with funds to restock their shelves and purchasing new equipment to expand.”
The bank expects the new influx of small-business bankers to increase to 200 by the end of this year, taking the total team of small-business bankers to over 2,000 people.
Mr Irvine revealed that NAB has lent more than $2.4 billion a month to small businesses during the pandemic and “is open for business for customers who need more support or want to invest in their businesses".
The ability for small businesses to access credit advice has been a pain point for several years, with SMEs increasingly using non-banks and brokers for their business finance.
According to the latest MFAA data, the number of mortgage brokers diversifying into the commercial space increased by 23.7 per cent in the year to September 2020.
As at September 2020, there were 4,539 mortgage brokers also writing commercial brokers, a new record high.
The total book value of commercial lending for mortgage brokers also continues to grow, reaching a record high of $48.91 billion.
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.