Commonwealth Bank pledges changes to SME lending

Posted: 12 February 2019 10:13 am News

CBA promises to support "even more" small business lending this year.

The Commonwealth Bank has announced a number of changes to its small business lending in an attempt to win over SME owners following the banking royal commission and rise of alternate lenders.

From March 2019, the CBA will offer same-day lending decisions for existing customers looking to get unsecured business loans of up to $250,000 to help streamline the financing process for SMEs.

The bank has also promised to extend its support to small businesses over the $580 million it lent on average per week in 2018, and will also scrap default interest charges on term loans for farmers affected by drought, fire or flood.

Removing fees

Among the other changes are better support for businesses experiencing financial hardship, increasing the availability of small business specialists and the removal of a number of "frustrating" banking fees. These include:

  • $30 to change existing contract acceptance dates to align future instalment payments.
  • $30 for requesting an additional copy of an existing contract.
  • $30 for cancelling or modifying a direct debit on an existing contract.
  • $30 to request another copy of an amortisation schedule.
  • $0.50 for each third-party payment within a transfer group over the first 3 each month.
  • $2.50 to import a file into Netbank from another file, such as MYOB.
  • $8.00 for a business plan.
  • $27.50 per security token for secure access.
  • $55.00 for the provision of a NetLock security USB.
  • $11.00 for the provision of NetLock access per month.

Rebuilding trust

Matt Comyn, CEO of the Commonwealth Bank, believes the changes will allow small businesses to further drive the economy. "Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy — when they thrive, we all thrive."

"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 Australia-based business contact centres," he said.

Comyn understands the banks have to regain customer trust following the revelations of the royal commission and believes these changes are the first step towards rebuilding the customer relationship. "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."

"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," he said.

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