Non-bank lender joins government scheme

by Madison Utley14 Apr 2020

A non-bank that has been named as a participating lender in the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme has launched an unsecured loan product to aid businesses affected by COVID-19.  

Liberty Financial’s new offering, Liberty Business Care, provides an unsecured term loan of up to $250,000 for a maximum of three years with the option to defer repayments for the first six months with interest capitalised.

As a whole, the government’s scheme will support up to $40bn of lending to SMEs with turnover of less than $50m – including sole traders and not-for-profit organisations – with the government guaranteeing 50% of new loans issued by eligible lenders until 30 September 2020.

The government has indicated it plans to make offers of participation to 29 banks and 5 non-bank lenders in response to their expressions of interest, totalling $34bn of potential lending to SMEs.

Applications from a range of other lenders are currently being assessed for the remaining $6bn in the scheme.

Liberty has invited businesses in need of funding to contact their Liberty accredited broker or to get in touch directly. 

Any Australian small business with an aggregate annual turnover under $50m can apply for Liberty Business Care for working capital purposes, including liquidity and operating expenditure. However, the scheme funding cannot be used to refinance any existing credit arrangements.

Further, in accordance with the scheme, there will be no fees payable on committed, but undrawn amounts under the loan.

“We are pleased with our appointment so that we can extend our accumulated experience to further support individuals, households, businesses and our economy at this critical time,” said James Boyle, Liberty CEO.

“Due to the unsecured nature of this loan, we look forward to partnering with our accredited brokers to help eligible small businesses get the funding they need.

“The Australian broker industry has our commitment that we will continue to make vital funding available to support our valued customers during this testing period.”

An upfront commission of 0.45% of the approved amount will apply to all successful loan applications; however, no trailing commission will be payable.