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Ombudsman shares RBA concern over small business access to finance

Ombudsman shares RBA concern over small business access to finance

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The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson, has backed the RBA’s plea to banks to treat small businesses differently to consumers when considering loan applications.

Billson welcomed further scrutiny of small business access to finance pledged by RBA Assistant Governor, Chris Kent.

Billson said: “Mr Kent’s comment that access to finance for small businesses has been a long-standing challenge and is now tighter than before the pandemic, is correct.

“I support Mr Kent’s plea to banks to take a different approach to small business borrowers, given that even under the existing Responsible Lending Laws, banks are not obliged to apply the same serviceability requirements to small businesses that need to be applied to households.”

He added: “Overall, we welcome the RBA’s acknowledgement of the important contribution the small business sector makes to the economy as well as its efforts to continue to monitor small business access to finance and their prospects more broadly.”  

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