What is National Australia Bank (NAB)

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is one of the major banking entities in Australia. The National Australia Bank (NAB) provides a wide range of financial services, including banking, wealth management and a platform for investment banking. The NAB has locations throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as the U.K. and the United States. The NAB also has a highly regarded economics research division, which releases the NAB Business Confidence leading indicator every month that is followed by traders worldwide.

BREAKING DOWN National Australia Bank (NAB)

The National Australia Bank is one of the "big four" banks in Australia. As of November 2014, NAB operated 1,590 branches and service centers; and 4,412ATMs across Australia, New Zealand and Asia serving 12.7 million customers.. Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks are its two subsidiaries that operate in the U.K., and it purchased Great Western Bank in the U.S. to gain a foothold in America, as well. NAB also provides a range of investment and insurance services for institutional clients.

Recent History of National Australia Bank

The NAB launched a branchless direct bank in 2016, trading separately as UBank under the leadership of Greg Sutherland and Gerd Schenkel. In January 2009, Cameron Clyne became was named CEO and began a strategy of reputation change, wealth management and a focus on domestic markets.

As part of this strategy, NAB's underweight retail bank embarked on a strategy to increase market share by competing on price and cutting fees. The strategy initially hurt earnings in the division, providing mixed results over the medium term, with cash earnings, market share and customer satisfaction rising, but operating margin and cost-to-income ratio worsening since it began in 2009.

In line with the strategy, NAB attempted to differentiate itself from the other "Big 4" Australian banks in a large national marketing campaign that focused on a theme of "breaking up" with the other banks on Valentine's Day 2011. The Cannes award-winning campaign received both positive and negative reception, while attracting swift competitive responses from other major banks.

In 2009, NAB purchased the mortgage business of Challenger Financial Services for $385 million. The move was intended to boost its market share in the broker channel. The purchase also included the PLAN, Choice, and FAST mortgage aggregation businesses and approximately 17.5 percent in Homeloans, Ltd. In June of that year, NAB paid $660 million for UK insurer Aviva's Australian wealth management businesses, including their Navigator platform. In July, 2009, NAB acquired an 80 percent stake in the private wealth management division of Goldman Sachs JBWere.