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New player enters non-bank lending space

A multinational non-bank lender has commenced operation in Australia in a bid to disrupt the domestic market as it seeks to service unmet demand.

Ebury, a global corporate banking services provider for SMEs, has announced that it has expanded its presence in the Australian market by offering trade finance for unsecured payables and receivables with line sizes of up to $5 million per client.

The fintech, which operates in 22 locations across the globe, opened its doors in Australia less than a year ago, initially offering foreign exchange-related products and services.

Ebury Australia’s managing director, Rick Roache, said the fintech’s new credit platform would help fill a void in the SME finance space.  

“We see a huge opportunity in supporting Australian SMEs, which research shows are experiencing a collective $80 billion funding gap,” Mr Roache said.

“SMEs have faced great difficulty getting capital for their business, especially those with volatile revenue and cash flow.

“It is not surprising then that more than 90 per cent of SMEs are considering alternative lenders who provide rapid credit approval, especially those like Ebury who do not require security for funds borrowed.

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He continued: “The market is there for the taking.”

Mr Roache added that Ebury is looking to disrupt established banks, non-banks and neo-bank lenders, who he claimed, “use outdated operational processes relating to factoring, invoice finance and import finance”.  

According to the managing director, much of the innovation in the marketplace had been designed for the smaller end of town, stating that Ebury’s offering would supply credit to firms with a larger credit appetite.

“Our clients require larger credit lines and have more complex needs,” he said.

“Most retail business lenders can’t or won’t meet these needs and are targeting business borrowers with smaller loan sizes, higher interest rates and longer terms.”

Mr Roache is confident that the fintech will hit the ground running, claiming that Ebury’s online platform, cost transparency and pricing policy would set it apart from its competitors.

The fintech noted that it would also provide borrowers with access to its FX platform, which would enable “cross-border business” to collect, hedge and complete transactions in one place.

Ebury is the latest fintech to disrupt the Australian lending market, joining the likes of Volt Bank, Xinja Bank, 86 400, Athena Home Loans and Judo Bank.

Judo, which is also competing in the SME finance space, recently received a banking licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

Global investment bank Citi also recently announced plans to expand its commercial footprint in Australia by offering mid-sized Australian companies – which operate both domestically and internationally – with access to its full suite of banking products and services.

 [Related: Bank expands commercial footprint in Australia]

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