Banks back Australian small businesses: Australian Banking Association research

Banks back Australian small businesses: Australian Banking Association research

Research released by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) today shows banks lent $588 billion to SMEs last financial year – a 28% increase from the year prior.  ​

The Banking By Numbers report demonstrates 302,945 new loans worth $200 billion were issued by banks to SMEs over the last financial year.   ​

The report was launched at an event in Western Sydney, ‘Resilience of small business’ hosted by the ABA and Business NSW and attended by business representatives from across the region. ​

“This research shows banks are fuelling credit to the lifeblood of Australia’s economy, our SMEs. Banks also understand many customers are doing it tough battling a quick succession of interest rate rises, inflation and associated cost of living challenges,” said Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh (pictured). ​

“This is why today the ABA is launching a new Financial Assistance Hub, to help small businesses and customers understand what banks can do to help those experiencing financial difficulty.” ​

Designed as a step-by-step guide out of financial difficulty, the Hub is an easy to navigate, plain English resource providing customers and small businesses with important information and support.  ​

“Originally launched to assist businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hub has been updated and completely revised to ensure it is useful, easy to comprehend and relevant to those in need,” Ms Bligh said.  ​

Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) CEO Luke Achterstraat said, “We know that access to capital is critical for small businesses particularly with a perfect storm of costs across the board. While there is more work to be done, these latest figures indicate a significant uplift in SME lending which is a positive sign.” ​

Ms Bligh said banks also recognise the need for a sustainable financial counselling model to help customers with advice and support about their finances. ​

“Financial counsellors get people back on track when they are experiencing the most difficult moments in their lives,” Ms Bligh said.  ​

“Banks stand ready to support the Government’s voluntary financial counselling scheme, committing $6.15 million in the first year, starting in January 2024.”