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Nine customer-owned banks appointed to SME scheme

COBA has welcomed the news that nine customer-owned banks have so far been selected as lenders for the government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.

As more lenders are confirmed for the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, it has now been confirmed that nine customer-owned lenders are now able to offer loans under the scheme.

The government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme aims to “enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit to SMEs” by supporting up to $40 billion of lending to SMEs.

The government has said it will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million. This includes loans to eligible sole traders and not-for-profits. 

Participating lenders will be responsible for allocating unsecured loans of up to $250,000 to businesses in urgent need of working capital.


Loans will be up to a period of three years, with no repayments required for six months. 

While 34 offers have been made to lenders to participate in the scheme, 22 lenders have so far been confirmed.

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) has now welcomed that nine of its members have been appointed to the scheme, with the possibility of further appointments being made.

The lenders are:

  • Australian Mutual Bank
  • Bank Australia
  • Bank of Us
  • Heritage Bank
  • Queensland Country Bank
  • Regional Australia Bank
  • Summerland Credit Union
  • The Capricornian
  • Unity Bank

COBA CEO Michael Lawrence commented: “Customer-owned banking institutions have been putting people first for over 150 years.

“We have supported Australians and their businesses through droughts, floods, bushfires, wars, recessions, a depression and a global financial crisis. We are doing the same right now as we work together to get through COVID-19.

“Our members stand by all their customers, and businesses are no exception. Dedicated banking staff are committed to helping customers overcome the challenges of this unexpected pandemic. They are also proactively contacting business customers to discuss their options.

“It’s about optimising the support to business customers, ensuring they are in the best possible position to weather financial hardship, keep people in jobs and contribute to broader economic recovery.”

Participating lenders will offer the scheme-backed loans until 30 September 2020.

[Related: Suncorp rolls out new SME loan]

Nine customer-owned banks appointed to SME scheme

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