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Retail body urges banks to support small business

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has called on the big banks to do more to support small business.

The big banks have been under the spotlight in recent weeks following their refusal to pass on the latest cuts to interest rates to consumers and business.

Business lending remains tight, and the ARA believes that the big banks are still not listening to the needs of small business.

“Fact sheets recently developed by the ABA (Australian Bankers Association) may make big banks feel like they’ve addressed the issue of small business access to credit, but the fact remains banks have no clue about the SME market, ARA executive director Richard Evans said.

A survey recently conducted by the ARA has shown that in the last three months, 25 percent of small business retailers have attempted to renegotiate lending facilities with their banks; and of these, over 45 percent have indicated difficulty renegotiating loans and lines of credit.

Evans said now is the time for banks to listen to small business.

“Australia’s big banks need to generate new low-rate credit cards and other lending products for small business and they need to begin to collect data about how small business operates and access funds.

“For small retailers, the fact remains it is a difficult and costly processes to borrow from a banks who are lured by the obvious benefit of other lucrative markets and don’t understand the small business sector,” said Evans.

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