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Suncorp rolls out new SME loan

The non-major lender has launched an unsecured credit product tailored to SME customers impacted by COVID-19.

Suncorp Bank has joined a number of credit providers in launching a new unsecured SME loan offering, aimed at assisting businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under its new SME Support Loan, Suncorp is offering small and medium-sized businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $50 million) the option to apply for the new loan if they have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Suncorp is offering these businesses a three-year, unsecured term loan of up to $250,000, with interest rates starting from 4.69 per cent.

Business owners will not have to pay establishment or account keeping fees, and no repayment is required for six months. However, interest incurred will be capitalised during the six month period, with principal and interest instalments commencing at the end of the six month period.

Suncorp’s product is backed by the federal government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme announced last month, which sees the government guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs. 

The scheme aims to “enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit to SMEs” and can support up to $40 billion of lending to SMEs (with the government guaranteeing up to $20 billion). 

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Reflecting on the bank’s new product, Suncorp Bank CEO Lee Hatton said: “At a time when business owners are feeling the strain, we’re here to help.

“For any small or medium-sized business owner – cash flow matters so these loans will make a real difference to them, their business and the people they employ.

“While our teams are working tirelessly to help business customers through our loan deferral scheme, we are also very much open for business and are backing and investing in businesses to ensure they get through to the other side of this crisis and thrive.”

Suncorp joins more than 20 lenders (of the 34 approached) that have now been confirmed as panel lenders on the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. 

Last week, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) introduced a new weekly reporting standard for all lenders participating in the scheme.

The new reporting standard will support the scheme by providing the government with specific information from each participating lender, including the number of loans approved, number of loans impaired, and number of guarantee claims made and paid.

The reporting requirements will also ensure lenders provide the government with figures on the amount of allocated credit still outstanding and available, as well as any impaired loans under the scheme.

[Related: APRA announces SME Scheme reporting standards]

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