In this video interview, commercial banker Gary McGrath discusses the challenges of 2020, the bright outlook for next year and the benefits of a morning bike ride.
As General Manager Commercial Banking and Major Clients Group at Commonwealth Bank, Gary McGrath oversees a team of 200 business bankers covering all major industries.
With the benefit of feedback from his team, Gary is positive about the next 12 months.
“It’s been a long year but I’m extremely optimistic about the year ahead,” he says.
The big drivers of growth will be mining and residential construction, which are two of the largest employers in WA.
Gary believes well-targeted government support has helped to lift the WA economy from the COVID slowdown.
“We supported over 50 per cent of the market in that period, it was extremely busy.”
His optimism is also based on the restructuring he has seen in the business community.
“In the WA economy over the past 5 or 6 years, many businesses were doing it really tough through that period,” he says.
“A lot of those businesses are now well positioned.”
Gary discusses how the Commonwealth Bank has positioned itself.
It has focused on digital and mobile platforms to help customers do their banking more easily and has a renewed emphasis on customer relationships.
“Over time, what we’ve heard is that we’re the old-fashioned relationship banking team that will come out and listen to you and understand your business and your management team.”
Gary also shares some thoughts on how businesses can set themselves.
“Plan for the upside and be really thoughtful of the volatility,” he suggests.
“Understanding the cash flow of your business is absolutely crucial.
“And make sure the right structures are in place.”
Its not all work for Gary, who says it’s important to take time out and recharge.
That means cycling a couple of times a week.