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Business Banking news and advice

All the latest business banking news and top tips to help you manage your business banking.

  • Businesses taking on more finance, ABS figures show

    Wednesday 16 May 2012

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    The number of companies securing credit and taking out business loans increased in March. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), total commercial finance commitments grew by 8.8 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms during the month. The figures indicated that revolving credit agreements were up by 20.5 per cent, following a drop of 27 per cent in February. It was also confirmed that fixed lending commitments rose by 5.2 per cent after a fall of 0.1 per cent in the previous month. These figures may come as a surprise to many people, as a lot of corporations were apparently reluctant to take on new credit while interest rates were so volatile. The national cash rate remained at 4.25 per cent in March, which deterred some companies from securing extra finance in order to expand. With this in mind, it would not be a shock to see lending figures improve dramatically when the results for May are eventually released, as the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate by 50 points at the start of the month. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • ANZ lowers rates on business loans

    Friday 11 May 2012

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    ANZ has become the last of the "big four" Australian banks to lower the interest rates attached to its home and business loans. Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and National Bank of Australia have already reduced their rates and ANZ has now followed suit. The lender has sanctioned a 0.37 per cent cut on its mortgages and business products. Bosses confirmed that the average small company with a loan in the region of $130,000 will save $9.25 a week thanks to the readjustment. Last year, ANZ announced that it would review its interest rates on the second Friday of each month and leaders insisted this latest cut was made in spite of increased funding pressures. The big four banks had little choice but to introduce a reduction of some sort, after the Reserve Bank of Australia slashed the national cash rate by 50 points at the start of May. This surprised a lot of people, as most experts had predicted a fall of just 25 points. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Businesses are spending more on travel expenses

    Thursday 10 May 2012

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    The global financial crisis seriously dented business confidence in Australia and this had a knock-on effect on other industries. Companies had to take some drastic measures in order to cut down on expenditure, as money became increasingly tight. Although lenders are still wary about dishing out business loans and corporate credit, things do appear to be picking up. According to new figures compiled by IBISWorld, taxi and hire car companies are reaping the benefits of Australian firms' new-found optimism. Business trips have become far more frequent in the past couple of years, following a major downturn when the recession took hold in 2008-09. IBISWorld industry analyst Caroline Finch said that car companies will see revenue for 2011-12 increase by 3.1 per cent, as corporate travellers start to splash the cash a little more freely. "Flush consumers and businesspeople supported industry revenue growth in the years leading up to the global financial crisis," she remarked. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Businesses bemoan lack of corporate tax cuts

    Wednesday 09 May 2012

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    The government's decision not to enforce a business tax cut as part of its Budget plans has not gone down well among Australian companies. A lot of organisations feel aggrieved that a one per cent corporate tax reduction – which had previously been promised by the authorities – did not materialise. With banks still being cautious about who they offer business loans to, some enterprises are finding it hard to stay afloat at the moment and a tax drop would have been a timely boost. According to the Commonwealth Bank, keeping the rate as it is will net the government $4.6 billion over the five years to 2015-16. However, CommSec chief economist Savanth Sebastian believes the issue will have to be addressed in the future, as Australia's business tax rate is higher than many other developed countries. "The tax rate must remain under consideration for Australia to maintain its competitiveness with other nations," Mr Sebastian remarked. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Westpac reduces business loan rates

    Friday 04 May 2012

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    Bosses at Westpac believe that companies across Australia need all the help they can get at the minute, as trading conditions remain tough. Company representative Jason Yetton announced that the lender has lowered the interest rates attached to its business loans by 0.5 per cent. This comes after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reduced the official national cash rate by 50 points on Tuesday (May 1st). The pressure is on Australian banks to pass the cuts on to firms throughout the nation and Westpac is the third of the "big four" to do so. ANZ is set to make a decision next week. Westpac has also trimmed its mortgage rates by 0.37 per cent to 7.09 per cent. "We want to continue to help both our business and mortgages customers, while maintaining attractive high interest rates on deposits," Mr Yetton remarked. He added that the RBA's decision to slash interest rates was just one of numerous factors behind Westpac's latest move. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Business banking customers are not happy

    Tuesday 01 May 2012

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    Entrepreneurs have had a tough time of things in recent months, as trading conditions have worsened. Companies have been blighted by the strength of the Australian dollar and a lot of firms have been forced to tighten their belts. A new study conducted by Roy Morgan Research indicated that confidence levels among business banking customers are low. The report suggested that fewer organisations are satisfied with the service being provided by their bank, which could prompt more companies to look for a more favourable deal. According to the index, levels of satisfaction were measured at 65.6 in March 2012, which was 0.7 per cent down on February. It also represents the first decline since July 2011. Representatives of Roy Morgan Research said that many firms feel their bank fails to communicate with them regularly enough. There is also a lot of resentment towards banks because some have hiked the interest rates on their business loan packages. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Business demand for credit cards grows sharply

    Tuesday 01 May 2012

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    A growing number of Australian companies have been applying for credit cards, new figures have shown. Economists have been voicing their concerns over the apparent lack of demand for business loans, which they believe can harm economic growth, as firms are unable to expand. However, a new Veda report has shown that business credit inquiries increased by 8.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, compared with the corresponding period in 2011. Much of the extra demand, as expected, was driven by organisations in the booming mining states, with the Northern Territory being a particularly lucrative market for lenders. Head of commercial risks at Veda Moses Samaha said that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the nation have also been securing credit. Unlike businesses in the mining industry, these SMEs have not been looking to expand, but have become reliant on credit for cash flow purposes, which Mr Samaha thinks is a concern. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Business banking customers to miss out on rate cuts

    Friday 27 April 2012

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    The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is expected to sanction further cuts to interest rates next month, but business banking customers should not start celebrating just yet. Entrepreneurs have been pleading for a rate reduction since the turn of the year, as companies are being crippled by sizeable repayments on their business loans. The RBA made two successive readjustments in November and December 2011, but has not made any changes in 2012. Lower than expected inflation figures will prompt the central bank to make amends very soon, but AMP Capital Investors chief economist Shane Oliver believes Australia's major banks will not pass all of the savings on to their corporate customers. He told the Mercury that if the RBA reduces the cash rate by 25 points, business owners are only likely to see lending rates fall by between ten and 15 points. Therefore, Mr Oliver stated that a 50-point drop would be more suitable. This is especially true in light of reports that the nation's major banks are actually considering hiking rates on their business products and home loans in the near future. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Aussie banks plan to sell off business loans

    Tuesday 24 April 2012

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    Companies throughout Australia have been wary of securing finance from the nation's banks, mainly due to the uncertainty surrounding interest rates. The strength of the Aussie dollar is blighting many organisations, as people down under can buy cheaper items from abroad and trading conditions have remained tough. Banks have also suggested that intense funding pressures have made it more difficult to offer attractive business loans. As a result, the nation's major institutions have decided to sell syndicated corporate loans to funds for the first time, Reuters reports. In the past, banks have generally kept high quality loan deals on their books, but this is no longer cost effective. National Australia Bank is the most prominent business lender in the country and executive general manager for capital markets at the firm Steve Lambert said this landmark action was much needed. "These assets when sold will take some funding pressure off the banking system and free up banks' lending capacity," he was quoted as saying. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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  • Business conditions 'are only slightly improved'

    Thursday 19 April 2012

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    Trading conditions across Australia improved marginally in the first quarter of 2012, although the country's economic growth remained broadly flat. Many companies have bemoaned the high value of the Australian dollar in recent months, as people are finding it far cheaper to buy goods from overseas. The economic climate has also put many enterprises off taking out business loans, especially while the national cash rate remains at 4.25 per cent. A new business conditions index published by National Australia Bank (NAB) showed that corporate activity was measured at three points, which was up from two points in the fourth quarter of 2011. Despite the slight upturn, NAB's chief economist Alan Oster said the economy was "going sideways" and the gap between mining companies and firms in other sectors is still worryingly large. "The divide between the stronger mining and serviced-based sectors and the weaker consumer and trade-dependent sectors remained a marked feature of the economy in early 2012," he remarked. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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