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25 March 2022
As Small Business Month in NSW draws to a close next week, banks in Australia are standing by small business during a devastating period for parts of the state in dealing with floods and a long recovery period ahead.
Australian Banking Association Chief Executive Anna Bligh today said data from the ABS continues to highlight that the value of new lending to small businesses is increasing year on year, which, together with other more recent dedicated banking relief and targeted Federal Government and NSW Government assistance, will go some way to help impacted businesses get back on their feet.
Lending to small businesses on the rise
“Over $3.5 billion was lent to small business last December, up 20% on $2.9 billion from December 2020 and up 37% on the $2.5 billion when compared to the previous year,” Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said.
“This is not a one-off trend. An average of $3.2 billion was lent to small business in the second half of 2021, up 24% from the average of $2.6 billion in the second half of 2020 and up 31% from an average of $2.5 billion in 2019, with current total lending to small business now sitting at around $140 billion.
Banks continue to work closely with small businesses
“Despite recent challenges, this data shows that Australian banks continue to work closely with small businesses across the State to enable them to keep growing as part of the economy-wide post COVID recovery.
“And importantly when major events like the recent devasting floods impact heavily on businesses and communities, our banks are there to support them in a variety of ways as they aim to survive and recover over the longer term.
“In recent weeks Australian banks have been working closely with local communities, emergency service groups and with each level of government in NSW particularly but also in Queensland to ensure that people in flood affected areas were able to access cash as quickly as possible to ensure that they could purchase essential items for themselves and their families.
More support for customers impacted by floods
“As flood waters start to recede and the recovery period commences this is where other types of support may be required as people get back on their feet, like options to defer loan repayments for up to three months for those customers affected by the flood disasters in NSW and Queensland.
“These loan deferral or reduced repayment arrangements for home, personal and some business loans are being offered across individual banks and customers are encouraged to talk to their bank, as soon as they are able, and find out about the assistance that is available.”
Further information and assistance for those in NSW impacted by the recent floods is also available via Federal Government and NSW Government websites.
Stories of Recovery
“Australia has witnessed a phenomenal shift in customer banking and payment preferences in recent years,” ABA CEO Anna Bligh said.
The RBA continues to address the nation’s inflation challenge with today’s 0.25% increase in the cash rate target, to 4.10%.
Australian banks today launched a new digital platform that will facilitate the quick reporting of fraudulent payments en route or transferred to another bank.