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ANZ has committed an additional $9 billion for its Quick Assist program, designed to provide for approximately 40,000 of its existing small-business customers with timely access to credit.
The major bank also extended the maximum credit limit for such customers from $150,000 to $500,000.
Mark Hand, ANZ’s group executive Australia retail and commercial, said the bank uses existing customer information to inform its credit decision to save customers from re-submitting documentation about their financial position.
“These process improvements for our small-business customers will save them time and provide them with more money to continue running or growing their business,” he said.
“Time and money are two of the biggest factors for small business operators. They often don’t have enough time to get things done, and they can’t always get the money they need fast enough.
“We already have a history with these customers, so we should be able to make quicker decisions than we have been, and with these improvements now we can.”
This comes amid several moves from lenders to ramp up their offerings for SME customers.
In December, NAB launched a digital application process allowing small businesses to borrow $100,000 without traditional security requirements such as property or cash.
NAB stated that conditional credit approval can be granted within 10 minutes of the digital application, and eligible small businesses would be able to receive cash 24 hours after contracts are signed and returned.
These initiatives come amid calls from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) for enhanced credit support for small businesses.
Late last year, RBA assistant governor Christopher Kent suggested that major banks were not doing enough to provide small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups adequate and affordable access to finance.
“Lending to small businesses is dominated by the major banks, and there is less competition in this market,” Mr Kent said.