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.

Businesses shunning loans because of high interest rates

Businesses shunning loans because of high interest rates

Companies in any country need funding in order to expand and banks play a major part in ensuring enterprises are able to grow. However, it seems that many firms in Australia are unhappy with the business banking options being made available to them and are shunning credit packages as a result. The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently indicated that commercial financial commitments declined throughout the nation in January and a new study conducted by DBM Consultants appears to back this up. It found that the number of small and medium-sized enterprises considering opening a new lending account fell to 10.4 per cent in November 2011 from 14.4 per cent in June 2010. Many business owners cited the wide margins between the cash rate and interest rates being offered by the country's banks and lenders on their loans. The research also suggested that many small firms are looking to switch their bank account provider, as they believe there are better deals out there. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.  

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Business confidence dips in February

Business confidence dips in February

Aussie companies have become increasingly concerned with the shaky state of the economy, new figures have suggested. National Australia Bank's (NAB's) monthly business survey found that confidence declined from +4 points in January to just +1 point in February. It is thought that the ongoing turmoil in the eurozone has caused much of the downturn, while the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision not to lower interest rates during the month may also have impacted business banking customers' optimism. The financial crisis in Europe does appear to be having a major bearing on Aussie firms, as the Bank of International Settlements recently revealed that banks across the continent withdrew $7.56 billion worth of loans from Australia in the second half of 2011. With many Aussie enterprises relying on financing from the country's banks in order to expand, it is little wonder that confidence has fallen. According to the Australian Associated Press, the NAB also stated that traders down under are being hindered by the high value of the dollar when attempting to compete business overseas. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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European banks withdraw business loans down under

European banks withdraw business loans down under

People who do not think that Australia is affected by the economic turmoil in other parts of the world have been given a rude awakening. The Switzerland-based Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has revealed that lenders in struggling European nations pulled more than $7.56 billion worth of loans out of Australia towards the end of 2011. This could have been disastrous for business banking customers down under, as many corporations had taken out loans or were in the process of refinancing in 2011. It seems that the well documented turmoil in the eurozone spooked many banks, causing them to quickly reassess their international loan portfolio. "Pressures on European banks to deleverage increased towards the end of 2011 as funding strains intensified and regulators imposed new [capital] targets," BIS said in its March quarterly review. Luckily for companies in Australia, enough global banks were on hand to pick up the slack left by the Europeans and Aussie firms are also finding a greater number of options open to them, as the likes of ING Direct have unveiled plans to enter the business banking sector for the first time. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.  

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ING Direct announces business banking move

ING Direct announces business banking move

ING Direct has announced that it will move into the business banking sector for the first time. The institution has traditionally focused on home lending and term deposits, but now bosses have unveiled plans to lend money to small and medium-sized companies, the Australian reports. This announcement comes after the firm revealed details of a ten per cent increase in profits in 2011 – becoming the nation's fifth largest bank in the process. Business owners will be glad to see increased competition in the banking sector, as Credit Suisse recently told the Herald Sun that Aussies will find it harder to secure credit in the near future, as the cost of lending has grown. Chief executive at ING Direct Don Koch stated that the bank has a chance to be "innovative" in the business banking sector. "There's an opportunity for someone to come in and create change and disruption," he was quoted as saying. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Aussie businesses blighted by the high dollar

Aussie businesses blighted by the high dollar

Australian companies are concerned that the high value of the dollar is having a negative impact on their enterprise. A new study conducted by Dun & Bradstreet has indicated that confidence among business banking customers down under is on the wane. More than one in three firms feel that the strong dollar is forcing their customers to look overseas for cheaper goods. Accountancy firm RSM Bird Cameron recently urged companies to take greater control of their finances in order to weather the ongoing economic storm. The organisation stated that monitoring cashflow and reassessing financing arrangements are of the utmost importance. Chief executive officer at Dun & Bradstreet Gareth Jones added that small businesses are perhaps feeling the strain the most. "This caution amongst businesses is increasingly being seen through a focus on consolidation rather than growth," he remarked, before stating that firms – especially those in the retail and manufacturing sectors – need to adapt quickly or risk losing business to overseas rivals. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Businesses need to look at ways to improve efficiency

Businesses need to look at ways to improve efficiency

Companies throughout Australia are facing a constant battle to remain profitable during the ongoing financial crisis. According to accountancy firm RSM Bird Cameron, firms need to reassess their business banking options in order to increase their chances of weathering the economic storm. A recent study conducted by National Australia Bank suggested that 70 per cent of enterprises are wary of taking on new loans because they do not want to be saddled with any more debt. This is likely to be having an impact on their ability to expand. The accountancy experts said that the management of cashflow is of "the utmost importance", as this is a key indicator of business health. They also added that businesses should be looking closely at their current level of financing. "Securing new debt facilities or re-financing existing loans has become increasingly difficult," a representative of the firm noted. "Get to know your bank and give them plenty of notice if you're in need of increased debt funding," they concluded. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.  

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Business credit applications on the rise, figures show

Business credit applications on the rise, figures show

The number of companies applying for credit grew between October and December 2011, new figures compiled by Veda have confirmed. According to the research organisation, the number of firms enquiring about credit grew by 7.3 per cent when compared with the same period from 2010. Head of commercial risk at Veda Moses Samaha believes the upturn is encouraging and the two interest rate reductions in November and December are likely to have had a positive impact on the statistics. The study appears to contradict a recent survey conducted by National Australia Bank, which indicated that 70 per cent of business banking customers were not keen to take on any new debts until the economy picks up. However, Mr Samaha stated that small and medium-sized businesses were particularly optimistic about securing credit in the third quarter of 2011. "Following a long period of uncertainty, it is good to see some uplift driven by better business conditions and more improved credit management practices," he remarked. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Business banking satisfaction levels revealed

Business banking satisfaction levels revealed

It is more important that Aussie companies are happy with their business banking options, as budgets are becoming increasingly tight. This was recently demonstrated by a National Australia Bank study, which showed that 70 per cent of firms are wary of taking on additional debt because of the precarious state of the global economy. Leaders at Roy Morgan Research have stated that despite this new cautious approach, business lending is still vital if the Australian economy is to thrive. Industry communications director Norman Morris believes that lenders should focus on improving customer satisfaction surrounding corporate credit cards and loans in order to boost confidence among enterprises. The company's latest study found that companies are most happy with financial services provided by Bendigo Bank, with 79.3 per cent of business credit card holders claiming to be satisfied with the bank's offerings. This was considerably higher than all of the country's other main providers, including Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ and American Express. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Aussie firms 'have an incredibly bright future'

Aussie firms 'have an incredibly bright future'

The latest Reserve Bank of Australia business confidence survey indicated that companies are slightly more optimistic about the state of the economy, but many are still adopting a cautious approach when it comes to borrowing money. Smaller enterprises are being increasingly careful with their business banking options, as they are wary of being saddled with excessive arrears should the nation's economy take a sudden turn for the worse. However, head of the Federal Treasury Martin Parkinson has urged companies and the Aussie on the street to be less pessimistic about their future financial situation. Indeed, he said that the current negative mindset is being "overdone" by the country's population. "It's almost as if most Australians seem to think we live in Greece – we don't. I mean we actually have an incredibly bright future ahead of us," he remarked. He said that every effort has been made by the government to protect Aussie firms against the high dollar, but there is only so much it can do because of influences outside the country. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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