BUSINESS FINANCE NEWS – OCT 23, 2020

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

Naughty NAB, Promises Promises, Lending Boom

What could possibly go wrong?

As well as a hefty $15 million fine, National Australia Bank had to suffer the mockery of Justice Michael Lee of the Federal Court when he found that the bank’s long-running introducer program had contravened the Credit Act.

Justice Lee discovered the now disbanded initiative had no uniform processes for selection of introducers, no requirement for training and no minimum level of due diligence.

 “What could possibly go wrong?”, he mocked.

Business Insider reports that “a bunch of money-hungry bottom feeders got their fill” pocketing millions of dollars.  The top four stars, including a gym owner, made nearly $140 million between them.

Promises, Promises

Business owners are justifiably cynical about promises of support from the big four banks who seem to spend millions of dollars a year on TV ads extolling their commitment to small business but deliver disappointingly little.

Now, Commonwealth Bank says it is serious by doubling the number of local business bankers and improving lending services to small business customers.

This follows CBA’s investment in Biz Express an in-store and over the phone service which provides same-day decisions on unsecured loans up to $250,000 and secured loans up to $1 million.

Meanwhile….

Criticize alleged bank indifference to small business all you want, but the stats tell a different story, according to the Australian Banking Association.

CEO, Anna Bligh insists the banks are open for business.  During the Covid-19 pandemic loan approval rates have been around 70% of applications received with more than 128,000 Australian firms receiving funds.  The average loan size is $320,000.

Banks approved loans of more than $9 billion in the six weeks to October 7.

Government Backed

If you are looking for a clear explanation of Phase 2 of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme check out this article published in Dynamic Business.   It also provides a list of approved lenders.

Key points:

  • The $40 b scheme has been extended to June 2021
  • Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans
  • There is a 10 per cent interest cap
  • Loan size has increased to $1 million
  • Secured and unsecured lending available

Australian Milestone

Intuit Quickbooks is the first software accounting company accredited for open banking in Australia.

This follows a decision by the ACCC allowing Intuit Quickbooks customers to access and transfer their bank transactions into the accounting software in real time.

Until now, most accounting software customers have had to live with a time lag when downloading bank data