Creating strong relationships is at the heart of everything we do – and we continue to look for ways to deliver an even better customer experience.
In 2014 we maintained our strong customer satisfaction rating of above 80% for customers considering us their Main Financial Institution (MFI) in the benchmark Roy Morgan Research survey. We improved our score over the year, up 0.4 percentage points to 82.1%19 and were only 1.7% behind the leader of the major four Australian banks based on the Roy Morgan Research survey. The difference in customer satisfaction scores observed in the last three months among the major four Australian banks is the narrowest recorded since 2000. We continue to deliver value for our customers, including through fee free classic banking. NAB has had the lowest standard variable rate of the major Australian banks over the last five years. NAB winning the Financial Review’s 2014 Smart Investor ‘Bank of the Year 2014’ award recognises our focus on delivering the best products, services and customer experience.
We aim to resolve issues at the first point of contact whenever possible or through our specialist complaint management functions, NAB Resolve and MLC Resolve. We also look at the root causes of complaints and use customer insights to bring about improvements.
This year saw Australian region complaint volumes rise by 25% when compared to 2013, largely due to better data capture methods. The richer data is now used to target improvement initiatives, such as empowering front line contact centre staff to refund minor fees and charges – and improving voice recognition and routing systems to reduce the frequency of customers being transferred to other departments. Call transfers dropped from 18.5% to 17.1% in 2014 and are expected to drop further in the coming year. Adding a customer relationship team to the mortgage applications process saw our application to draw down conversion rate increase to 54% (with fewer errors and faster processing) for customers supported by the customer relationship team – compared to 44% amongst customers who were not supported by the customer relationship team.
Our strategy to broaden services for Asia active customers is based on strengthening the core domestic franchise and building connectivity between Australia/New Zealand and Asia. Our focus has been to support customer relationships and their increased trade in the region.
This year we continued to develop a range of products and services across Asia including trade products denominated in Chinese renminbi. We also introduced electronic trade channels for a global resources company to help them achieve more trade finance and improve cash flow.
In the Institutional Banking business, NAB welcomed a number of new clients during the year. We have supported our clients in Asia with their trading and investment needs, and facilitated introductions to NAB’s Australian and Bank of New Zealand clients.
We have been focused on the superannuation and ageing market in Australia by providing this fast-growing segment with industry-leading products and services.
Leading in corporate superannuation
In the 12 months to June 2014, NAB Corporate Super extended its number one position to 25.4%20 of market share, as measured by funds under management. Growth was largely due to changes making it easier for employers to add corporate super and banking solutions to employee agreements.
Our share of the small to medium enterprise superannuation market is still underweight but it presents growth opportunities. Our Wealth Investments business continues to thrive, with $158b in funds under management, advice and administration.
Launching new products
We strengthened our proposition for self-managed superannuation funds with the launch of SMSF@NAB, and a new at-call savings product, SMSF Cash Maximiser.
Both SMSF@NAB and SMSF Cash Maximiser have supported the growth of our SMSF revenues this year. Further growth is expected, with SMSF currently holding the largest segment in superannuation at $560b in assets.
The launch of NAB Super Pay – a superannuation clearing house – makes us one of just two major banks in Australia delivering a product of this kind. It gives business customers a simpler way of submitting superannuation contributions for employees – one file, one payment – and it assists with looming regulatory changes.
NAB Super Pay can be labelled under a Super Fund – it is currently used by Plum for Corporate Super customers, and further work is underway to support small businesses. We also launched NAB Essential Life insurance via nab.com.au in August 2014, which delivers a significant step toward simpler wealth solutions.
The launch of NAB Essential Life on nab.com.au made simple life insurance accessible to our customers, with eligible customers covered by answering just six questions.
More help, guidance and advice
We’ve now placed 98 wealth advisors into our busiest NAB retail stores – to provide affordable advice in areas such as insurance and superannuation. We also reached out to the market with our ‘Let’s Save Retirement’ campaign – a national advertising campaign that commenced in March urging Australians to seek financial advice for retirement.
Our international portfolio
BNZ’s ‘Be Good with Money’ campaign supported delivery of innovative products and a differentiated customer experience, enabling a year of successful financial performance.
In 2014 customer satisfaction in Retail was equal second and BNZ Partners was second in the market,21 and employee engagement remains above the Financial Services performing average.22 BNZ’s performance in four key strategic segments has been strong:
Retail Wealth Funds Under Management (FUM) have doubled since 2013.
On-target Youth customer growth has been supported by customer-led enhancements to the innovative YouMoney proposition and targeted campaigns.
The small–medium enterprise segment achieved equal first place in market customer satisfaction and was recognised externally for its innovative solutions and value to customers.23
Agribusiness has maintained market share since November 2013, despite the highly competitive environment and increased regulatory provisions.
BNZ’s major customer-led transformation program has delivered initiatives that further improve customer experiences and lift business sustainability. This has included the deployment of an enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) system across the Retail and Partners businesses, and ongoing digital enhancements to both mobile and internet platforms.
BNZ continued to support New Zealand communities through initiatives such as ‘Closed for Good’, and other volunteering efforts. The community finance initiative was also launched in partnership with the New Zealand government, The Salvation Army and Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand to deliver ‘Step Up loans’ and NILS (No Interest Loans Scheme) to low-income earners, committing NZD10m in capital over five years. We also launched the BNZ Future Hub to respond to financial hardship resulting from natural disasters. BNZ also gave the equivalent of NZ$1.45m from 5068 days volunteered in the community in 2014.
While we remain focused on our Australian and New Zealand franchises, we have made good progress on our other assets and are accelerating our exit from non-core businesses.
In July we announced the partial sale (£625m) of the NAB UK Commercial Real Estate (CRE) portfolio and in October began the sale process of Great Western Bank (GWB) with the initial public offering of a 31.8% stake. We plan to sell 100% ownership of GWB over time, subject to market conditions.
We have been progressively reducing our exposure to UK CRE loans since 2012 and this year’s partial sale of loans to an affiliate of Cerberus Global Investors represents a substantial reduction in risk of the non-performing portion of the NAB UK CRE portfolio. The UK CRE portfolio reported local currency cash earnings of £23m in 2014, compared with a £239m cash deficit in 2013.
The UK economy is showing signs of steady improvement, having experienced seven consecutive quarters of output growth. Local currency cash earnings of our UK Banking business, which operates under the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank brands, rose strongly over the year to £158m. This reflects a materially lower charge for bad and doubtful debts, which decreased year on year by £78m or 49.4%, and reduced expenses.
Dealing with conduct matters continues to be a significant and ongoing issue for the UK banking sector and there remains a range of factors relevant to determining the total costs associated with conduct related matters, including any possible fines. In October 2014 further provisions were announced by the NAB Group in relation to Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and UK conduct issues. These charges were taken within the Corporate Functions and Other division of the NAB Group.