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Banks called on to support small business

Small Business Minister Craig Emerson has called on the big banks to support small business during the economic downturn, by providing adequate credit flows to the sector.

In follow-up meeting to the Small Business Roundtable held in Melbourne on March 6, Minister Emerson pointed to the Reserve Bank’s lowering of interest rates, and how the big banks refusal to pass on the rate cuts to consumers and businesses was having a negative affect on small business.

“I told the banks that they have a vital part to play in keeping small business trading.”

However, the Australian Bankers’ Association has defended the banks’ decisions, with ABA chief executive David Bell pointing out that bank interest margins “remain at extremely low levels” and that it was essential that Australia had a strong banking sector.

“We have all seen the consequences of what happens when you have bad banking practices.”

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