NAB recruiting 1000 customer service officers to ask distressed home borrowers how they are coping with COVID-19
- National Australia Bank is now hiring 1,000 new customer service employees
- NAB’s new recruits will be tasked with calling up distressed home borrrowers
- COVID-19 crisis has seen 80,000 borrowers defer their mortgage repayments
- NAB customer chief Rachel Slade said new recruits would check on borrowers
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
National Australia Bank is hiring 1,000 new employees to work in coronavirus customer service.
The recruitment drive is occurring as 80,000 home borrowers defer their loan repayments for up to six months because of the COVID-19 crisis.
NAB’s chief customer experience officer, Rachel Slade, said the new recruits would be tasked with calling as many distressed borrowers as possible.
‘The past few months have been incredibly difficult for so many Australians and this is an opportunity for us to speak to customers who have requested a payment pause and check how they are doing,’ she said.
National Australia Bank is hiring 1,000 new employees to work in customer service. Pictured is NAB’s Melbourne headquarters in Melbourne
NAB’s new recruits will be tasked with talking through a customer’s home loan situation, explaining the consequences of deferring monthly mortgage repayments and how they can resume repaying their loan.
How COVID-19 has affected house prices
Melbourne: DOWN 0.4 per cent to $818,806
Sydney: UP 0.3 per cent to $1,026,418
Brisbane: UP 0.3 per cent to $558,372
Adelaide: UP 0.4 per cent to $476,249
Perth: UP 0.3 per cent to $465,521
Hobart: DOWN 0.2 per cent to $512,688
Darwin: UP 1.1 per cent to $473,984
Canberra: UP 0.1 per cent to $702,861
Source: CoreLogic Home Value Index for April based on median house price changes
‘We know many of our customers will continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 for a long time and our expanded team will mean we can be available to support them through this,’ Ms Slade said.
Like the other major banks, NAB is worried about the effect forced sales from distressed borrowers would have on real estate values.
Earlier this month, NAB predicted capital city property prices would fall by 10 to 15 per cent during the next 12 to 18 months, as unemployment hit levels unseen since the 1930s Great Depression.
Sydney’s median unit price was expected to plummet by 8.8 per cent in 2020 followed by another four per cent next year.
That would see mid-point prices for an apartment dive by 12.8 per cent, or $99,576, to $678,364, going by CoreLogic data.
Melbourne was expected to take even more of a hit, with its median apartment prices tipped to plummet this year by 10 per cent, and by four per next year.
NAB’s new recruits will be tasked with talking through a customer’s home loan situation, explaining the consequences of deferring monthly mortgage repayments and how they can resume repaying their loan
A 14 per cent dive by 2021 would see a typical apartment lose $82,349, compared with April 2020 median prices, to hit $505,855.
COVID-19 labour market at a glance
Unemployment: it surged from 5.2 per cent in March to 6.2 per cent in April – the highest since September 2015
Number unemployed climbed by 104,500 to 823,300
In April, 489,800 people left the labour force, which meant 594,300 either lost their job or gave up looking for one
Underemployment soared by 4.9 percentage points to record 13.7 per cent
Tally of underemployed Australians surged by 603,300 to 1.8million
Participation rate plunged by an unprecedented 2.4 percentage points to 63.5 per cent
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Brisbane unit prices were tipped to dive by 5.5 per cent in 2020 and by another 8.6 per cent next year.
A 14.1 per cent plunge by 2021 would see median apartment prices fall to just $333,918.
Adelaide was also in for a beating, with NAB expecting a 2.7 per cent drop in 2020 followed by a seven per cent fall in 2021.
A 9.7 per cent fall by next year would see median unit prices fall to $301,819.
In another ominous sign, NAB is expecting Australia’s jobless rate to hit 11.7 per cent by the end of June – a level unseen since the 1930s Great Depression.
Australia’s employment rate climbed to a five-year high of 6.2 per cent in April, up from 5.2 per cent in March.
Almost 600,000 jobs were lost, with 104,500 of them becoming official unemployed as 489,800 left the labour market in despair.
Working hours also plunged by 9.2 per cent in April with the underemployment rate rising by 4.9 percentage points to a record high of 13.7 per cent.
Earlier this month, NAB predicted capital city property prices would fall by 10 to 15 per cent during the next 12 to 18 months, as unemployment hit levels unseen since the 1930s Great Depression