In a bid to restore respect and trust in the wake of the banking royal commission, the Commonwealth Bank says it is making it easier for SMEs to access credit and removed further business banking fees.
The announcement came after Justice Kenneth Hayne released his final report into the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry last week after more than 12 months of inquiry.
The printing industry, which faces constant pressure to upgrade rapidly evolving technology, has been impacted by the credit squeeze with many having to remortgage their homes to buy new equipment, move to bigger premises and grow their business.
Amongst Justice Hayne’s recommendations in his 950-page final report was a call for the Australian Banking Association to amend its definition of ‘small business’ to any business employing fewer than 100 full-time equivalent employees, where the loan applied for is less than $5m.
Commonwealth Bank chief executive officer Matt Comyn says its changes mark a push by the bank to become better and focus on what customers want.
“Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy – when they thrive, we all thrive,” Comyn said in a statement.
“So I’m delighted to announce a series of changes today to support our small business customers. We’re committing to support business lending even more, rolling out same day decisions on simple business lending, removing more business banking fees, providing financial assistance when it counts and increasing the capacity and capability of our Australian-based business contact centres.
The changes also include increased support for businesses facing financial hardship and increasing the availability of small business specialists.
“We are accelerating our work towards becoming a better bank by making changes each and every week to the way we do business and what we offer our customers. We are committed to turning our words into action and to be better for you, delivering real benefits and improving processes to ensure we remain focused on what our customers want,” Comyn said.
“While we’re making good progress, there is still more work to do. We are determined to restore respect and trust amongst our customers and communities. Our customers can expect us to continue listening, making changes and providing the best possible experiences, no matter how they bank with us.”
Last year federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a plan to securitise $2b in business loans for small and medium sized enterprises.
The Australian Business Securitisation Fund would mirror the same action the federal government took when securing residential mortgages and warding off a recession in the 2008 global financial crisis.
At the time Frydenberg issued a joint statement with federal Minister for Small Business Michaelia Cash saying the plan would reduce funding costs to small business owners and provide a back up so they don’t have to remortgage their homes.
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