NAB working on better capital access for Indigenous Australians

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Dec 6 (Reuters) - National Australia Bank Ltd NAB.AX said on Wednesday it is working with Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), an organization focused on the economic independence of Indigenous people, to help improve access to capital and banking outcomes.

NAB, the country's second-biggest lender, has signed a memorandum of understanding with IBA to collaborate on the design and development of a business guarantee for indigenous groups through NAB's specialist bankers and commercial lending solutions, the company said.

The move comes at a time when banks have borne the brunt of increased regulatory scrutiny in a push for better banking outcomes for indigenous consumers and First Nations businesses, including access to better finances and quality of life.

NAB has set a new target to more than double its lending to First Nations businesses and community organisations to at least A$1 billion ($657.80 million) over the next three years, it said.

"Working with First Nations people, we want to strengthen financial resilience, increase business and employment opportunities, and remove the barriers that have traditionally made it hard for First Nations customers and businesses to access financial services," Noel Prakash, NAB Executive, Indigenous Business Banking, said in a statement.

($1 = 1.5202 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)


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