The Australian Banking Association is reporting that since February 1, banks have approved over $41b in financing for SMEs and sole traders, an average of $5 billion per month. And, despite the fact that are in the midst of the COVID pandemic, the approval rates for credit have remained high, with around 70 per cent of loan applications received being approved.
In the six weeks up to 7 October, banks approved loans of more than $9 billion to SMEs and sole traders. The Association’s report reveals that credit has been given to more than 128,000 Australian firms since the pandemic began, with an average loan size is $320,000.
On average, banks have approved more than 500 new SME loans a day for more than 250 days. Total lending approved to all businesses, of any size, is reported to be more than $200 billion since February.
“The clear message from this new data is that Australia’s banks remain open for business for small business customers”, Australian Banking Association CEO, Anna Bligh, said. “The banks’ commitment to small business has been supported by a number of Government and regulatory measures, including the RBA’s Term Funding Facility, changes to business lending rules, the instant asset write-off, and the SME loan guarantee.
“Australian banks are continuing to provide a lifeline to small and medium businesses across the country,” Bligh added. “The rate of lending has held up strongly despite the pandemic. These small businesses will drive Australia through the crisis, and after it has passed, employ millions of Australians as the economy rebuilds.”