Big Four backs throw financial weight behind COVID relief

by Mike Wood15 Sep 2021

Two of Australia’s biggest banks have put their money where their mouth is on Covid relief, instituting policy decision aimed at boosting the SME sector.

CBA and NAB have both made significant policy moves that should provide a lifeline to struggling small businesses.

NAB has launched a new loan for SMEs, which will see them eligible for up to $2m in funding over 30-year spans. The loans will allow applicants to self-declare their financial information.

“Small business is the life blood of the Australian economy,” said Ana Marinkovic, executive for small business at NAB.

“As Australia’s largest business bank, we’ve been backing businesses for 160 years to make sure they have the funds they need to growth and thrive.”

“We’re determined to help Australia bounce out of the pandemic and support businesses right across the country to invest.”

“Faster business loans make it easier for a busy small business owner looking for a quick decision. The loan terms offer the potential for them to make a pragmatic decision between potentially paying rent or actually buying and owning their premises.”

Meanwhile, CBA announced that they have funded close to $2 billion in SME loans under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme (SMERLS), with 20,000 businesses supported.

The scheme is designed to help SMEs get through the pandemic and is open to those on a turnover of less than $250m, with up to $5m per SME available and backed by the Federal Government.

“The impacts of the pandemic have been really varied for different businesses and different sectors, many require access to credit to help them through this period, and some are looking for additional capital to grow, invest and expand through recovery,” said Clare Morgan, executive general manager, business lending at CBA.

"The expansion of SMERLS is an excellent initiative to ensure that more businesses will be able to access business lending at low rates and on flexible terms.”

“We plan to play a leading role in the expanded SME Recovery Loan Scheme as we’ve done through the various phases of the scheme and encourage businesses to speak with us about what might be suitable for their business needs.”


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