National reconsiders sole traders

National Australia Bank said it mismanaged relationships with lower quality prospects in the small business market, and particularly among sole traders and contractors. NAB's general manager of business financial services, Jeremy Dean, said NAB would be more flexible toward the purposes to which sole traders could apply the proceeds of home equity loans. He said those customers favoured loans secured against a home, but in the past NAB has been restrictive about the purposes for which funds in a home equity loan could be used. Dean said that NAB estimated that it lost “a couple” of percentage points of market share in the small business sector over the last two years.