HomeMedia & ResourcesMedia ReleasesCustomer owned banking institutions press go on small business lending

Customer owned banking institutions press go on small business lending


Customer owned banking institutions are stepping up support to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic through the Government’s $40 billion Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.

The Federal Government has to date confirmed the appointment of nine Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) members to the scheme, with the possibility of further appointments*. Participating lenders will be responsible for allocating unsecured loans of up to $250,000 to businesses in urgent need of working capital.

“Customer owned banking institutions have been putting people first for over 150 years,” says Michael Lawrence, CEO of COBA.

"We have supported Australians and their businesses through droughts, floods, bushfires, wars, recessions, a depression, and a global financial crisis. We are doing the same right now as we work together to get through COVID-19.

“Our members stand by all their customers, and businesses are no exception. Dedicated banking staff are committed to helping customers overcome the challenges of this unexpected pandemic. They are also proactively contacting business customers to discuss their options.

“It’s about optimising the support to business customers, ensuring they are in the best possible position to weather financial hardship, keep people in jobs, and contribute to broader economic recovery.”

Under the scheme, the government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million. This includes loans to eligible sole traders and not-for-profits. Loans will be up to a period of three years, with no repayments required for six months. Participating lenders will offer the scheme-backed loans until 30 September 2020.

Participating COBA members

Australian Mutual Bank, Bank Australia, Bank of Us, Heritage Bank, Queensland Country Bank, Regional Australia Bank, Summerland Credit Union, The Capricornian and Unity Bank.

* The Government has made 34 offers, with lenders in the process of finalising documents.


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Ashley Penny
Corporate Affairs Manager
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M: +61 431 932 950
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