12 May 2016
Sydney, 12 May 2016: Banks are helping make it easier for small businesses to access finance, as lending to small businesses over 2015 reached its highest level on record, the Australian Bankers’ Association said today.
“Banks approved $88 billion in new small business loans last year, which is $11 billion more than two years ago,” ABA Chief Executive Steven Münchenberg said.
“While banks’ lending to the small businesses sector is strong, we recognise that for some small businesses being able to access finance is still a concern.
“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,” he said.
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 NSW Business Chamber.
It features a step-by-step guide to completing a loan application, including the do’s and don’ts, with particular emphasis on preparing a business plan.
CPA Australia Chief Executive Alex Malley said the ability of small business to articulate the how and why of their venture is extremely important to the success of their loan application.
“If we have small businesses growing, spending on new plant and equipment and expanding their markets, then they are sustaining and creating jobs and that’s precisely what our nation needs,” Mr Malley said.
COSBOA CEO Peter Strong said: “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.”
NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright said: “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.”
Mr Münchenberg said over the past couple of years the ABA has worked with COSBOA and CPA Australia to better understand the issues faced by small businesses.
“We realised that small businesses would benefit from guidance on how to present information in a loan application that goes beyond just providing the company accounts,” he said.
“With further tax breaks for small businesses announced in last week’s Federal Budget, it’s a great time to be a small business in Australia,” Mr Münchenberg said.
Key findings on small businesses in Australia and banks’ lending to the sector are below. The full economic report is available on the ABA website.
Australian Bankers’ Association: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677 or Nic Frankham 0435 963 913
CPA Australia: Stuart Dignam 03 9606 5176 or [email protected]
COSBOA: Peter Strong 0433 644 097
NSW Business Chamber: Damian Kelly 0401 773 825
The small business sector in Australia, ABA economic report
- A record $88 billion in new small business loans were approved by banks in 2015.
- The average interest rate on small business loans is at a record low.
- Independent survey data shows that nine in every ten small businesses say they do not see access to finance, or the capacity to finance further growth in their business, as an issue.
- Almost half of all small businesses have a loan with a bank.
- Around 25% have access to a credit card but no other debt.
- Small businesses employ 4.7 million people or 44% of all jobs in Australia.
- Small businesses contribute about one third of all economic activity.
“Australian banks are certainly better equipped now than they were in the GFC. They’ve got 2 to 2.5 times the capital reserves put aside for a rainy day than they had in the GFC”
“The Australian Banking Association (ABA) welcomes the agreement reached today on the proposed safeguard mechanism reforms, given it paves the way for the passing of a critical piece of legislation for Australia.
“This is about engaging with the entire banking ecosystem in order to ensure the accessibility of the sector’s services are best serving our diverse community now, and into the future.”