24 October 2023
Banks have reaffirmed their commitment to Australia’s agriculture sector at a roundtable discussion with the Australian Banking Association and the National Farmers Federation in Canberra today.
“Australian banks are proud to support agribusinesses, one of Australia’s largest economic sectors,” said ABA CEO Anna Bligh.
The sector continues to demonstrate a strong appetite for credit with lending at near record levels. Businesses have borrowed a total of $117 billion, a growth of 13% over the past year. This comes as banks issue an average of 3,600 new loans to agribusinesses each month.
“The value of new bank loans to agribusinesses also continues to increase, with more than $8 billion extended in credit in the month of June 2023, compared to $7.8 billion in June 2022.
“The agriculture sector continues to go from strength to strength and moreover has always demonstrated an ability to adapt to changing conditions,” said ABA CEO Anna Bligh.
Still, banks know some businesses are experiencing tough times in the current economic environment. Ms Bligh said that any business experiencing financial hardship, or concerned about financial difficulty, should reach out to its bank and do so as early as possible.
“Australia’s agricultural sector proves time after time to have resilience at its core and this strong backbone will be essential as it faces into some unsettled conditions and a tough summer ahead,” said ABA CEO Anna Bligh.
“Banks understand the economic ebb and flow of the agriculture sector and that sometimes extra assistance is required to get through a difficult period. Banks encourage any business experiencing financial difficulty to call their bank. Banks have a range of very practical tools that they can use to help,” Ms Bligh said.
- lower home loan or credit card loan payments
- restructure the length of a loan
- move a customer to interest-only payments for a while
- defer payments for a period.
“Don’t tough it out on your own,” said Ms Bligh.
The ABA recently launched a new Financial Assistance Hub, designed as a ‘step-by-step guide out of financial difficulty’, which includes a specific section on agribusiness. Visit the Financial Assistance Hub to see what banks can do to help.
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