Borrowing warning

Major banks would struggle to cope if borrowing levels recovered, the National Australia Bank has told a Senate inquiry.

Major banks would struggle to cope if borrowing levels recovered, the National Australia Bank has told a Senate inquiry.

NAB's chief financial officer, Mark Joiner, says Australia is still mired in the global financial crisis. He said NAB was "finding it quite difficult" to move away from safe-haven and fixed-income assets like bonds as financial market volatility continued.

Unstable sharemarkets were making investors "fearful" and encouraging them to put their superannuation into cash. He added that wholesale money market volatility and competition for deposits among major banks meant these lenders may not have funds to provide business credit in the event of a borrowing recovery.