‘We are helping SMEs’, banks claim

Australia’s banking sector has claimed to have provided a record level of finance to SMEs over 2015, while launching a new website to educate borrowers on how to strengthen their loan applications.

“Banks approved $88 billion in new small business loans last year, which is $11 billion more than two years ago,” Australian Bankers’ Association chief executive Steven Münchenberg said.

According to an economic report by the association on Australia’s small business sector, close to half of all small businesses have a loan with a bank.

It also claimed that independent studies suggest 90 per cent of small businesses do not believe access to finance is an issue for them.

Despite this, Mr Münchenberg acknowledged more needs to be done in helping SMEs access capital to grow their businesses, saying: “We recognise that for some small businesses being able to access finance is still a concern”.

He added: “To help with this, we have developed a new website that explains what banks look for in assessing loan applications. It also shows how different types of finance may suit different small businesses.”

The website, financingyoursmallbusiness.com.au, was developed in conjunction with CPA Australia and with the support of the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) and the NSW Business Chamber.

“This is a great initiative by the banking industry and will help people who want to start, buy or expand a business save time and stress,” COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said.

NSW Business Chamber chief executive Stephen Cartwright added: “For small-to-medium businesses, having access to finance is crucial to their success. Having this resource for SMEs to understand the right type of finance for their needs will help maximise their potential and, in turn, help Australia’s economy to grow.”


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