ANZ pledges $3bn to growing SMEs

One of Australia’s major lenders has offered to provide the lending muscle for small and medium-sized businesses with Asian ambitions.

ANZ has launched a $3 billion trade lending pledge for small and medium-sized Australian businesses looking to grow or trade with offshore markets.

Chief executive Mark Whelan said the $3 billion trade lending pledge aimed to raise awareness of how the bank can help Australia-based businesses expand into new markets – particularly Asia.

“Asia offers incredible opportunities for growth, but often Australian companies don’t know where to start on this journey or believe it is very difficult to access finance,” he said.

According to Australia’s International Business Survey 2014, conducted by the Export Council of Australia and the University of Sydney, 25 per cent of Australian businesses that operate internationally require debt funding every year.

Furthermore, 62 per cent of those businesses said they found it difficult to source debt funding from Australian financial institutions.

Mr Whelan said the Australian economy not only relies on entrepreneurs, but also proven businesses that are able to expand into new geographies or product and service areas.

“Australia has negotiated a number of significant free-trade agreements with key trade partners, and there is huge potential for the country to broaden the mix of its export base,” he said.

“ANZ stands ready to back Australian businesses that are ready to take that next step.”

The $3 billion trade lending pledge is available to new and existing ANZ customers. The bank will also continue to support start-up businesses through a separate $2 billion lending pledge.

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