NAB calls on corporates to be more accountable to Indigenous Australia

Thursday, 20 February 2014

National Australia Bank (NAB) today called on corporate Australia to be more accountable in its commitments to Indigenous Australians. The Prime Minister, the Honourable Tony Abbott, this morning launched NAB’s sixth Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) with NAB Group CEO, Cameron Clyne, outlining NAB’s continued commitment to Indigenous Australia. The only RAP in Australia to be independently assured by an external auditor, the document outlines NAB’s performance and targets in the areas of financial inclusion, employment, business relationships, cultural understanding and a new focus on innovation. In 2013 NAB ensured that: - More than 1,150 clients improved financial capability through the Indigenous Money Mentor program. A report on the program found that it created $4.20 in social value per dollar invested. - The number of Indigenous employees at NAB increased by 13% to 161. - 74% more Indigenous trainees were offered real jobs at NAB following their traineeship. - The number of staff seconded to Indigenous organisations was up by 71% to 29. - More employees received cross cultural training, increasing by 31% to 230. - More than 15 Indigenous suppliers were engaged with NAB procurement via education sessions, direct engagement and tier 1 supplier introductions. Cameron Clyne, NAB Group CEO said NAB has chosen for its RAP to be reviewed by EY for the second year running to ensure that its corporate Indigenous programs are effective and outcome focused. “Corporate Australia is transparent in its promises to shareholders. We need to extend the same courtesy to Indigenous Australia if we are to play a role in addressing Indigenous disadvantage. “This is why we have invested in having our RAP independently assured and focused on measuring the impact of our programs. We believe our promises to Indigenous Australia should be opened up to scrutiny and I would encourage other corporates to join us in this practice,” he said. A recent report commissioned by Reconciliation Australia found that the Australian economy would grow by $24 billion a year if employment levels of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders matched those of other Australians by 2031. In 2014 NAB will continue its focus on encouraging Indigenous employment and converting traineeships into permanent jobs and careers within the organisation. Reconciliation Australia Co-Chair Melinda Cilento said NAB’s new Elevate RAP reflected the organisation’s strong long term commitment to building relationships and providing opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. “The embracing of reconciliation as part of a commitment to greater social responsibility by the Australian corporate sector has been one of our great success stories and NAB has been a leader in the process,” she said. “NAB’s employment strategy has provided jobs and traineeships to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and its no and low interest loans scheme has allowed families to access credit, sometimes for the first time.” “We congratulate NAB and CEO, Cameron Clyne, for playing such a decisive role in Australia’s movement towards reconciliation.” Today’s RAP also outlines a commitment to provide more than 5,000 new no and low interest loans to Indigenous customers. The inaugural NAB RAP was launched in 2009 with a vision to address Indigenous disadvantage and build opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as for the business. NAB is one of a few companies to be awarded the elite Elevate status, recognising its annual reporting and leadership in reconciliation planning. To access a copy of NAB’s 2014 Reconciliation Action Plan, visit nab.com.au/indigenous For further information:

Media Kelly Quirke M: +61 (0) 427 208 478 Eliza Anderson M: +61 (0) 477 725 498