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ANZ pledges A$1 billion to small businesses

ANZ pledges A$1 billion to small businesses

(11 April 2013 – Australia) ANZ has pledged A$1 billion to new businesses over the next year, taking the battle for small business banking to a new level. Small business operators have hailed the bank's move as a deserved mark of respect for small business start-ups, although questions linger about whether they will take the assistance being offered.

With credit growth decelerating across the economy, banks are keen to encourage a rebound in small business borrowing.

ANZ’s Banking on Australia program follows new research which found that 39 percent of new small business owners believe getting access to finance through banks is difficult, while 69 percent have to cut back on personal expenses when the business is low on cash.

ANZ General Manager Small Business Banking, Nick Reade, said: "We know the first few years of running a small business can be challenging so today we’re pledging to lend A$1 billion over the next 12 months to make it easier for Australians to realise their business dreams.

"A lot of new small business owners think that it’s only big businesses that get loans from the banks, but that’s not the case. In the last year, we approved more than seven out of every 10 lending applications from new small businesses.

"In addition to the A$1 billion pledge, we’ve made available the information and tools customers need to apply for lending via the ANZ Small Business Hub," Reade said.

The total value of newly approved loans of less than A$100,000 fell to A$2.6 billion in the December quarter, down from A$3 billion, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) figures show.
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