New NAB savings program to support low-income Australians

National Australia Bank (NAB) and Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service today launched a unique matched savings program called the AddsUp Savings Plan.

An extension of NAB’s microfinance program, AddsUp is the next step for people who are living on low incomes and keen to develop financial skills around saving.

Under AddsUp, people who have already accessed and repaid either a no interest loan (NILS®) or low interest loan (StepUP) available through NAB and Good Shepherd, can begin to contribute to a matched savings plan.

NAB provides an incentive for people to save $300 in their AddsUp Savings Plan, which is provided via NAB’s fee-free Concession Card Account. Once this goal is reached, the account holder becomes eligible to have their savings matched, dollar for dollar, by NAB.

NAB will match AddsUp Savings Plans once a year, to the total annual value of $500 per account. For example, a person who saves $400 in their account will receive an additional $400 from NAB, taking their savings balance to $800.

The AddsUP Savings Plan will be launched at the Echuca Indigenous Community No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS®) and made available to over 30 community groups over the next 12 months.

“AddsUP has been developed to help Australians living on low-incomes develop financial independence through savings,” said Richard Peters, Head of NAB’s Community Finance & Development team.

“We know that 95% of NILS and StepUP clients repay their loans in full; and that means people have built budgeting and repayment skills that can be applied to a savings product.

“AddsUp builds on these skills and provides a supportive and rewarding savings opportunity,” added Richard.

Michael Yore, Executive Director, Good Shepherd Youth & Family Service added that AddsUp is an opportunity for people to save for the things that matter to them and be supported in the process.

“Whether people choose to save for school costs, gifts, transport, a rainy day or simply the “peace of mind” that comes with having ‘emergency’ money for times you can’t plan for; the AddsUp Savings Plan will make a difference to people’s lives,“ said Michael.

“As we roll out the program in the coming year, across Australia, we expect the AddsUp Savings Plan will be available to over 1200 people and their families,” he added.

Since 2003, NAB in collaboration with Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service, has worked with local community agencies and government, providing innovative microfinance solutions to help low income Australians access fair and affordable financial services.

NAB’s commitment includes a pledge of $130 million in capital ($30 million announced in April 2006 and $100 million announced in October 2009) to support lending to low income groups. Within this pledge, NAB has allocated $15 million to expand the NILS® network.

Over the next three months, AddsUP will be implemented in Victoria, Northern Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

Media

For further information contact:

Felicity Glennie-Holmes
Media Manager
National Australia Bank
T: 03 8634 2910
M: 0412 673 038
Richard Peters
Head of Community Finance and Development
National Australia Bank
T: 02 9237 9827
M: 0438 582 919

For more information on AddsUp visit www.nab.com.au/microfinance