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Home ownership a focus for new CBA Indigenous business exec

David Prestipino -

The Commonwealth Bank's recent focus on improving products and services for Indigenous businesses has been sharpened with the key appointment of Indigenous banking executive Mitchell Heritage, who was first employed by the bank as a 14-year-old while at school.

The proud Kuku-Yalanji, Goorimpul and Torres Strait Islander man is the bank's inaugural executive manager of Indigenous Business Products, a new role CBA hoped would optimise financial solutions for FIrst Nations businesses to help them invest and grow.

Mr Heritage grew up on Meanjin Country in Queensland and is passionate about increasing home ownership opportunities for Indigenous communities.

He joins CBA's expanding Indigenous Business Banking team, which now encompasses 120 culturally-trained specialists dedicated to delivering better service and financial solutions for its Indigenous customer base.

Since joining CBA as a school-based trainee aged 14, Mr Heritage has committed to finding better solutions for First Nations businesses and their communities ever since.

"Working at CBA has enabled me to build my skillset to a point where I can really make a difference," he said following Tuesday's announcement.

"I am particularly keen to support home ownership opportunities for Indigenous businesses.

"This role is the perfect opportunity for me to bring these things together, and allows me to continue to support First Nations people."

He said the Indigenous business banking space was "incredibly important" for CBA.

"I'm extremely excited to be a part of the work we are doing," Mr Heritage said.

CBA business banking executive general manager Rebecca Warren said Mr Heritage would be integral to the bank delivering its strategy and commitments outlined in its Reconciliation Action Plan.

She said his experienced, customer-focused background - most recently as a senior product executive in CBA's Home Buying division - across investment and retail banking would accelerate solutions for the bank's Indigenous business customers.

"Mitchell's experience in home buying enables the team to amplify our offering and support for Indigenous businesses seeking home ownership opportunities," she said.

"We are absolutely committed to building a holistic offering that is targeted to enable business growth and generational wealth."

Ms Warren added Mr Heritage's deep passion for Indigenous communities, businesses and employees was evident daily through his leadership, energy and commitment.

She said CBA was excited to expand its Indigenous Business Banking team, as it strived to optimise product offerings and processes and, ultimately, better experiences for its First Nations customers.

"Mr Heritage joins a team of dedicated specialists committed to building strong relationships with Indigenous businesses and communities ... and the best products and services to meet their needs," Ms Warren said.

"I am really proud of our Indigenous Business Banking offering, including our Indigenous Business Line and Concierge to streamline access to a range of financial solutions to assist Indigenous businesses to accelerate growth," she said of CBA's recent Indigenous business banking initiatives.

"In addition, our collaboration with Supply Nation to deliver our Indigenous Business Education Series allows us to give back to the Indigenous business sector."

CBA's Indigenous Business Line can be reached on 1300 096 394.

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