Former NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird leaves customer chief role at NAB

He's 'taking a break' before 'considering new opportunities'.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced the former state premier it hired in February 2017 will be leaving the company.

In a statement issued to the Australian Securities Exchange, NAB said Mike Baird will be leaving his post as chief customer officer of consumer banking next month.

NAB CEO Ross McEwan said Baird will "take a break" before "considering new opportunities".

When he was hired, the former premier was charged with running NAB's corporate and institutional bank, before taking on the consumer banking role in 2018.

"I have an open mind about what I will do next and will use the time to determine where I believe I can make the best, most fulfilling contribution to business and the wider community," Baird said at the time.

The red and black bank this week published findings of a survey that found two-thirds of Australian small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were directly or indirectly impacted by the recent bushfires.

According to NAB, the effect felt has come as a result of business disruption, higher insurance and other costs, and lower customer confidence.

More than 70% of small businesses told NAB the aftermath of the fires would continue to impact their businesses over the next three months.

"Business owners have also shared the physical and mental health impact of the bushfires, including describing the unsettling effects of having to send employees home and sending customers away due to poor air quality." NAB chief customer officer of business and private banking Anthony Healy said.

The survey also found that 25% of impacted SMBs said they were planning to take up the government's AU$500,000 loan offer, with another 25% saying they were still unsure if they would.

When asked what the government should do in order to help impacted businesses, around 60% said cash grants would help most. 50% said interest free or reduced rate loans for the life of the loan would also help, as would greater investment in infrastructure and other community assets.

Google Cloud coming in 2021 to Melbourne

Google Cloud has announced a new cloud region in Melbourne, projected to come online in 2021. The new Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region is the second for the search giant in Australia, with its Sydney region active since July 2017.

NAB has been undertaking an organisation-wide transformation, in September announcing it had added GCP to its multi-cloud strategy, as the bank shoots to become a financial services institution enabled by technology.

"At NAB, we're in the midst of a company-wide digital transformation to simplify our business and improve the experience customers have with us," NAB executive GM of infrastructure, cloud, and workplace Steve Day said on Thursday.

"Technology is both an enabler and foundation in our transformation and our multi-cloud approach, incorporating Google Cloud services, is a key differentiator for us. Having a GCP region in Melbourne will certainly help our availability, durability, and resilience requirements."


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