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CBA Throws More Than Just Balance Sheet at SME Lending Leadership Race

CBA Throws More Than Just Balance Sheet at SME Lending Leadership Race

(11 November 2020 – Australia) CBA is ramping up its face-to-face branch staff and introducing wider scale same-day loan approvals across all its business banking products as it seeks to win the mantle as Australia #1 business bank away from NAB

Australia’s largest retail lender is doubling the number of business banking staff across its branch network, committing a further 180 employees to assist SMEs through the COVID-19 pandemic. The group is also expanding ‘BizExpress’ capability to all loan products, enabling existing business banking customers to access same-day loan approval. Just under four percent of small business loan repayments remain deferred due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The announcement comes as the latest weekly household credit and debit card spending analysis from CommBank’s Global Economic and Markets Research team reveals spending increased in recent weeks and is now up 13 percent relative to the same period last year. The rise in merchant receivables is the largest year-on-year increase since the group began analysing the data in Q1 2020, coupled with the first double digit increase since July 2020. Card spending is surging as restrictions ease and internal borders gradually show signs of opening.

“The BizExpress technology has allowed loans to be approved within 12 minutes. The onset of the pandemic has accelerated the execution of the bank’s digital infrastructure and provided a testing ground for the efficiency of the new online tool, which we hope to use as a leverage to be the market leader“ commented CBA Business Banking Group Executive, Mike Vacy-Lyle.

“It gave us a very captive market. It was an opportunity to take an untested tool and get into market. There was good demand and we were able to solve a need at the time. The real honey pot is transactional banking. My whole thesis around business banking is that transactional accounts should lead to better outcomes for the customers, specifically in lending. Access to a local business banker can make a world of difference to a small business owner, particularly with many making difficult decisions as they navigate the flow on impacts of the pandemic,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.

“The tapering of JobKeeper and its end in March 2021 remains one of the largest risks facing many businesses in Australia” Mr Vacy-Lyle added.

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