Business Banking news and advice

All the latest business banking news and top tips to help stay up to date on business banking trends and products.

Business outlook starts to brighten

Business outlook starts to brighten

Corporate confidence appears to have improved across Australia, following a sharp downturn in June. According to Roy Morgan Research's latest barometer, business sentiment was measured at 109.6 in July – up from just 105.4 in the previous month. The weak global economy has taken its toll on companies across the country and many organisations have been wary about taking on credit from banks and lenders. Veda recently revealed that the demand for business loans slowed considerably in the second quarter of 2012, which is perhaps unsurprising given the turmoil in the eurozone. However, in July the Australian share market rose by more than four per cent and Aussie households started to spend more money on goods and services again. Industry communications director at Roy Morgan Research Norman Morris said: "The small recovery in business confidence in July provides some optimism that we have passed the worst but the situation remains fairly fragile given the uncertain global economic outlook." Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Manufacturing firms struggle in July, PwC study shows

Manufacturing firms struggle in July, PwC study shows

Manufacturing activity declined significantly across Australia in July, new figures compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have confirmed. The organisation's Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index was down by 6.9 points to 40.3 during the month, which highlighted a considerable downturn in production. Companies in this sector are struggling badly at the moment, as the strong Aussie dollar is making trading conditions very difficult. A recent study by National Australia Bank found that levels of corporate confidence were down in the second quarter of 2012 and this is making firms increasingly wary of taking on business loans, Bloomberg reports. PwC representatives confirmed that the July results represent a three-year low in the industry and this is hugely concerning. Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox believes that further falls in overall activity are likely in the coming months. "The industry is experiencing substantial pressures driven by the strong dollar, cost increases, slow growth in domestic demand and competition from lower cost sources of production," he remarked. Have a question about business banking services? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Demand for business loans starts to slow down

Demand for business loans starts to slow down

The demand for business loans across Australia has slowed down, as companies are taking a more cautious approach to their finances. New figures compiled by Veda have indicated that corporate credit applications grew by just 4.5 per cent in the year to June, which was way down on the 8.8 per cent increase in the first three months of the year. It is crucial that firms – especially smaller ones – have access to funding from banks and lenders if they hope to expand, but a lot of organisations are wary about amassing too much debt. This is especially the case while the global economy is in such a precarious position. Veda's general manager for commercial credit Moses Samaha believes the downturn in business confidence could affect the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) figures.

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Businesses increasingly adopting mobile internet services

Businesses increasingly adopting mobile internet services

Companies are increasingly adopting mobile internet services, a new study by Roy Morgan Research has confirmed. It showed that 45 per cent of enterprises across the country now have access to online connections while on the move. Organisations in the finance and insurance industry were deemed to be the most likely to take advantage of mobile broadband, with 56 per cent of firms in this sector already using such services. Specialists in education and training, wholesale trade, information and telecommunications and mining also had above average uptake of mobile networks. A large number of entrepreneurs like to use the web to access their bank accounts and the booming popularity of smartphones has made it easier for companies to keep track of their business loans while out and about. Director of mobile, internet and technology at Roy Morgan Research Andrew Braun highlighted part of the study that showed larger organisations are more likely to adopt mobile broadband. "Clearly Australian businesses are also seeing the benefit in mobile broadband Internet services, which enable access to the Internet on the move via a broadband mobile network," he remarked. "With this advantage over fixed Internet, it is not surprising that businesses with a mobile workforce or mobile offices are using this type of service," Mr Braun added. Australia is starting to invest in sophisticated 4G technology, which is the next generation of mobile broadband and Mr Braun believes this will encourage even more businesses to adopt super-fast internet connections. Company owners are also accessing their finances via media tablet devices, it seems. A separate study by Roy Morgan Research indicated that 284,000 Aussie firms now own or rent tablets. With a bigger user interface, people are finding it far more convenient to make bank transactions from their office or while commuting. At the moment, the Apple iPad is the most popular tablet in Australia, but researchers said that a growing number of businesspeople are utilising Android and Microsoft gadgets. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Major bank hikes rates on business loans

Major bank hikes rates on business loans

Bosses at National Australia Bank (NAB) have informed some of the company's business banking customers that interest rates on certain loan packages are set to rise. They revealed the liquidity margin that applies to a selection of its corporate loans will go up by 20 basis points from July 30th. The organisation said it has been forced to take the action because of higher funding expenses. NAB's head of business banking Joseph Healy told the Australian Online that around 30 per cent of the company's business offerings would be affected by the rise. "As the funding costs go up, the liquidity margin goes up and when the costs come down, so too does the margin," he was quoted as saying. A recent study by Roy Morgan Research showed that an increasing number of companies are turning to smaller banks when looking for loan deals. The report discovered that many organisations have lost faith in the nation's major lenders in recent months. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Q2 business confidence took a hit, report shows

Q2 business confidence took a hit, report shows

Levels of corporate confidence in the second quarter of 2012 took a hit, new figures released by National Australia Bank (NAB) have confirmed. Business sentiment fell to minus two on the company's barometer, which is the lowest score since the third quarter of 2011, Bloomberg reports. Representatives of the NAB recently told the Advertiser that firms in South Australia were benefiting from low rates on their business loans, but its latest survey suggested that many entrepreneurs are concerned about their enterprise's future prospects. A lot of organisations are still extremely worried about the situation in the eurozone and are fearful that the financial problems could spread further. "The cumulative 125 basis points of cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) since late last year does not appear to have fully offset heightened concerns about Europe," an NAB representative stated. Businesses have also been warned not to expect any further interest rate reductions in the next few months, as the RBA is happy with the current cash rate of 3.5 per cent. Have a question about business banking services? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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SA businesses 'benefiting from fixed interest rates'

SA businesses 'benefiting from fixed interest rates'

Companies in South Australia are benefiting from fixed interest rates when taking out business loans. According to National Australia Bank state general manager (NAB business) Joanna White, rates on three to five-year terms are now at record lows. She told the Advertiser that firms have been responding positively to the fixed-rate environment, particularly organisations in the hospitality, property and agribusiness sectors. "With fixed rates providing businesses with greater security in their longer-term arrangements, many of these businesses are seeking long-term certainty around their borrowing costs," she was quoted as saying. This is great news for business banking customers who have been reluctant to take on more debt up until now. Many enterprises simply cannot expand unless they have access to credit and it seems that corporate confidence levels are starting to grow. Competition in the business loans market is intense and a recent study conducted by Roy Morgan Research showed that smaller lenders are becoming more popular among entrepreneurs. Have a question about business banking services? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Business customers continue to turn to smaller banks

Business customers continue to turn to smaller banks

Australia's big four banks continue to fall further behind their smaller rivals when it comes to keeping their corporate customers happy, new research suggests. Findings from Roy Morgan Research show customer satisfaction levels among those using business banking services from the country's major financial institutions remained the same in June compared with May. However, they need only cast an eye towards their lower-key counterparts for an example of how to get it right, as the smaller banks improved their satisfaction ratings by 0.4 per cent to 65.9 per cent. Norman Morris, industry communications director at the research body, explained that attempting to appease existing business customers should be a priority for the big four. "Improving the relationship with these customers has the greatest potential for business growth compared to trying to obtain new customers," he stated. The findings come shortly after it was revealed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority that business lending to non-financial organisations in Australia rose by 7.2 per cent in May year-on-year. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Demand for business loans falls in June

Demand for business loans falls in June

The demand for business loans among Australian companies fell sharply in June, despite cuts to national interest rates. A new report released by National Australia Bank (NAB) has suggested that the number of organisations that wanted access to credit during the month stood at just 37 per cent, the Wall Street Journal reports. This was a significant drop on the previous month, when 53 per cent of enterprises hoped to secure a loan from their bank. These figures are particularly disappointing when you take the Reserve Bank of Australia's recent rate reductions into account. It slashed the official cash rate by 50 points in May and then followed this up with another 25-point adjustment at the start of June, but it seems that this did little to encourage businesses to borrow more money. Corporate loans are vital to firms that want to expand, but a lot of organisations are worried about taking on any extra debt while the global economy is still so shaky. According to the NAB study, entrepreneurs down under are worried about the ongoing turmoil in the eurozone and this has caused them to adopt a more cautious approach to running their business. Speaking to Bloomberg, NAB chief economist Alan Oster said: "Business confidence fell heavily in mining in June – down 18 to -14 points – likely reflecting the recent downgrade to the Chinese growth outlook and concerns about the stability of the euro, with both of these factors influencing the outlook for global commodity demand." These latest findings tie in with Roy Morgan Research's new business confidence barometer, which showed that corporate sentiment was slightly down in June when compared to the previous month. Industry communications director at the firm Norman Morris said that many banks and lenders have failed to pass on interest rate cuts to their loan customers in their entirety, which has put a lot of companies off. Despite the tough trading conditions, business owners can still find competitive loan deals if they compare products online. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Business confidence remains fragile down under

Business confidence remains fragile down under

Levels of business confidence across Australia are still very fragile, as trading conditions continue to prove hard going. Roy Morgan Research's latest barometer update has suggested that corporate sentiment remained relatively steady at 105.4 in June, which was down slightly from 105.8 in May. However, bosses at the firm have insisted that this figure is only just in positive territory, which is a major concern. Companies have found it difficult to justify taking out business loans because they don't want to add to their debt burden, but this could be very damaging to the economy in the long run, as enterprises need access to credit in order to expand. According to this latest study, the majority of entrepreneurs think the economic climate in Australia will remain poor in the next 12 months. Indeed, more than half of Aussie firms think it is not a good time to invest in their business. Industry communications director at Roy Morgan Research Norman Morris believes recent interest rate cuts have failed to lift the gloom surrounding Aussie corporations. "The ultimate impact of reductions in interest rates on business will depend on how much of the reduction in official rates is passed on to business and how businesses react to the world economic situation, the carbon tax and other changes which combined have the potential to maintain a mood of uncertainty and low confidence," he remarked. Bosses at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) have also questioned the timing of the government's new carbon tax framework, which is aimed at forcing companies to reduce their CO2 emissions. Director of economics and industry policy at the ACCI Greg Evans believes it is a concern that trading conditions have shown no sign of improving since early 2010. Business leaders were disappointed that the Reserve Bank of Australia did not lower the national cash rate earlier this week, but economists believe that further cuts will be made by the end of the year, which should help restore business confidence. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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