By Krissie Jones, NAB Executive Retail
Our investment in our services and locations is guided by how customers are banking. More than 93% of customer interactions are now taking place over the phone, by video or online. Over the past several years, fewer customers are coming into branches and foot traffic has lessened dramatically. Over the last year alone, we have seen a further 30 per cent reduction in over the counter and basic servicing transactions in our branches.
While our physical branch presence in some areas will no longer be there, we will still be there for our customers – just in different ways. As more and more customers are choosing to bank online, we’re investing in improving our digital platform to make it easier and faster. We are also training our bankers in regional Australia with new skills to serve customers in these channels.
We are adding more than 280 colleagues to assist customers with phone and digital banking enquiries, and into operations roles. We are recruiting around the country, including in regional locations, as we have shown through COVID-19, our bankers can work remotely from anywhere. An additional 134 new small business bankers are being recruited and will also be based in regional locations across the country.
When we do close a branch, our goal is for no job losses. We work with our colleagues to find opportunities to continue to support customers either through other branch roles or across phone and digital channels.
The branch team also work closely with local customers, the community, business and government stakeholders about the change and the options that are available for banking. They offer education on our digital channels, including video banking, BYO device sessions, and online security. Customers can also bank at the local Australia Post Office, connect with our mobile bankers, home lending specialists or business bankers in person or for phone or video appointments.
In regional and rural locations our branch closure notice period is 12 weeks. During this time the branch team work closely with impacted customers, talking about the various banking alternatives available.
NAB customers can also bank at 3,500 Australia Post outlets around the country, where they can check account balances, pay bills and make deposits up to $10,000 cash, or withdrawals up to $2,000 per day.
We recently announced an additional 134 new small business bankers nationally, adding to our more than 2000 bankers around the country who provide crucial support for NAB’s 500,000 small business customers looking for expert advice. These specialised bankers are out ‘on the road’ and are based in regional towns, including Warragul (VIC), Albany (WA), Lismore (NSW), Rockhampton (QLD) and Toowoomba (QLD).The appointment of new small business bankers will increase to 200 by the end of this year.
This is in addition to 130 operational support team colleagues who are currently being recruited to work from anywhere across regional and rural Australia, supporting personal banking operations, and 150 new remote bankers in South Australia assisting customers with phone and digital banking enquiries.