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Appropriate Lending Approach to Small Business

16 October 2023

The provision of credit to small business is critical to the success of the economy and the prosperity of Australians, and ABA members are committed to the success of Australia’s small business sector. The ABA acknowledges AFCA’s work in developing a public approach to small business lending and understands that AFCA’s intention in publishing its approach to small business is to aid small business borrowers and lenders in understanding how AFCA currently approaches its determinations. However, there is a likelihood that the degree of prescription AFCA adopts in the draft SME Approach may have this effect and introduce a level of detail that goes beyond existing requirements under laws, standards, and codes. We urge AFCA to adopt a principles-based approach based on established principles, standards, and requirements in small business lending, such as the BCOP, to ensure that lending to small businesses is not restricted and is consistent with existing requirements.

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Payment Times Reporting Act

3 March 2023

The ABA supports the policy objective that large businesses pay small businesses on time. Banks have taken a range of steps to support small business customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and following recent major natural disasters. As a relatively new reporting regime, the ABA considers there is room to improve the scheme to ensure greater efficiency while maintaining or improving its effectiveness.

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ABA Response to Pottinger Review

13 November 2020

The Review is an important measure in clarifying the definition of small businesses in Australia and the ABA accepts all nine recommendations.

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Lessons learned from the Australian bushfire season 2019-20

22 May 2020

The ABA has set up a natural disasters work program that reports to our 16 Council members in order to clarify, strengthen and streamline the banking industry’s response to natural disasters to ensure that they have the right tools for the job at the right time. By the beginning of March 2020, the major banks had provided bushfire assistance grants totalling $7.6 million to more than 4,000 customers across Australia. The banks had also raised more than $42 million in donations to help devastated communities and assisted more than 3,500 customers with financial relief packages of the types described below.

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Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into the Australian Business Growth Fund Bill 2019 [Provisions]

17 February 2020

The ABA strongly supports the Government’s initiative to help small businesses grow by coinvesting with banks to establish this Australian Business Growth Fund. The Fund is designed to provide equity finance to qualifying businesses across a range of industries and locations.

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Royal Commission Round 3 – Small Business Lending

8 June 2018

Self-regulation of the banking industry through the Banking Code of Practice is adequate to address any residual concerns raised in the context of the Round 3 Hearings about the coverage of obligations imposed on the banks.

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