Sentiment up, home lending flat in major’s Q3 update

by Madison Utley15 Aug 2019

A major bank has highlighted the increase in customer sentiment towards the institution in its third quarter update.

NAB’s Priority Segments Net Promoter Score (NPS) improved from -17 in March to -14 in June.

Revenue was also reported as being up 1% as compared to the H1 2019 quarterly average, a move which the bank attributed to growth in its SME lending and a slightly higher group margin.

“Against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment, including subdued home lending growth, our 3Q19 performance compared with the 1H19 quarterly average is solid, with revenue increasing and costs flat,” said CEO Philip Chronican.  

NAB’s household lending volumes remained largely unchanged from its half year results to its Q3 update. Overall lending came in at $261bn at the conclusion of both Q2 and Q3. Further, both periods ended with $156bn in owner-occupied loans. However, residential investment lending saw a slight dip over the three-month period, falling from $105.5bn to $104.5bn in June.

Despite the lending lull, the bank has continued to express optimism regarding the future. 

“Our transformation remains on track, with SME lending growth over the quarter again a highlight as our ‘Best Business Bank’ initiatives deliver better customer outcomes,” said Chronican.  

“Our focus on being simpler and faster for our customers has resulted in a 27% reduction in over-the-counter transactions and an 18% reduction in call centre volumes since the transformation began.”

Last month, the major named its new CEO as a key component of ushering itself into the next stage of the business, attempting to distance itself from the lingering reputational harm of the royal commission.

“In July we announced the appointment of Ross McEwan as NAB’s new CEO. Ross is an experienced banker with a track record for delivering the change required to be the bank we want to be for customers and restore community trust,” said Chronican.

Also over the last quarter, NAB pledged $2bn of funding over the next five years to help technology companies build and grow their businesses, as well as continue its initiative to simplify fees, with 67 fees removed by the end of June.