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Big bank to pump billions to help economic future

By Eliot Hastie
2 minute read

NAB has pledged $2 billion to boost Australia’s technology industry, and is not limiting it to just fintech.

The funding allocation over five years will help emerging technology companies build and grow their businesses. 

The bank will back Australian tech innovators by providing loans, facilitating access to capital markets and supporting companies with banking and risk management. 

NAB currently operates NAB Ventures, which backs tech companies from start-ups through to big business, but this will be funded by NAB itself.

NAB chief customer officer business and private banking Anthony Healy said NAB wanted to boost productivity in the tech sector by supporting companies at a critical stage. 

“This commitment is about giving technology companies with demonstrated potential for growth the shot in the arm they need to be bigger and better,” Mr Healy said.

“These tech-driven companies are often already profitable but need further capital and banking expertise to grow.”

NAB decided to target emerging technology specifically as this model would bring new opportunities and would also challenge traditional services.

The move comes following the Australian National Outlook 2019 which was collaborated by CSIRO, and NAB’s exiting chairman, Ken Henry, was a part of. 

The report recommended five key shifts that Australia needed to make to secure a prosperous future across industry, landscape, energy, land use and culture. 

NAB’s funding commitment is directed towards the industry where it was recommended that further innovation and investment was needed to enable a productive and resilient economy. 

Mr Healy said NAB used the insights to take action that would help create new strengths in the Australian economy for both the domestic and export sector. 

“As Australia’s leading business bank, this $2 billion commitment is further demonstration that we are listening to our customers and supporting their needs today, and planning and investing in Australia’s long-term future.”

Along with NAB Ventures, NAB also sponsors a number of technology initiatives including Macquarie Park Innovation District; Advance, which brings expat entrepreneurs back to Australia; and the Australian Business Growth Fund.