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.

Interest rates news 'is bad for businesses'

Interest rates news 'is bad for businesses'

Although many economists were unsurprised by the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) decision not to lower interest rates, the news has drawn criticism from certain quarters. Bosses at the Housing Industry Association (HIA) believe the RBA has missed a golden opportunity to restore confidence in the business banking sector. Many companies with expansion aspirations have been wary about taking on loans because they fear that lenders will hike their interest rates. Senior economist at the HIA Andrew Harvey said that other than the mining sector, there has been little growth in the Australian economy and the time is right for further interest rate reductions. He added that the RBA will come under increasing pressure to enforce at least one cut in the next few months. "Given the current global and domestic economic conditions a rate cut today would have been the appropriate call, but regrettably the Reserve Bank Board did not take that decision," Mr Harvey remarked. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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Lending to Aussie businesses grew last month

Lending to Aussie businesses grew last month

One simple way to assess the current state of the economy is see how much money companies have been borrowing from banks across Australia. It is usually a good sign when a greater number of firms are approaching lenders for extra capital, as it shows that enterprises are looking to expand. Unfortunately, recent statistics compiled by DBM Consultants indicated that the number of organisations looking to open a new lending account fell to 10.4 per cent in November 2011 from 14.4 per cent in June 2010. However, more up-to-date figures released by the Reserve Bank of Australia this week are far more encouraging. They show that business banking customers are starting to apply for more credit, as the number of loans issued by Australian banks in February grew by 0.4 per cent compared with January, Bloomberg reports. This also represented a 1.2 per cent increase on February 2011, which suggests that business growth is moving in the right direction. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.  

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IBA wants to see more business loans being dished out

IBA wants to see more business loans being dished out

Although lending conditions have become far tougher in recent months, upstart companies across Australia are still dependent on financial assistance from banks in order to get themselves established. A recent study by DBM Consultants indicated that many firms have adopted a more cautious approach to loans due to the volatile economic climate, but many enterprises have little choice but to get some help from a lender. Leaders at Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) believe that more business banking options need to be made available to Aborigines who are trying to set up their own corporation. Chief executive Chris Fry told the Australian that the organisation was in discussion with the nation's major banks about improving the services offered to Aborigines. He said the demand for business loans had increased notably in recent months and budding entrepreneurs need capital and advice regarding business ideas. Mr Fry insisted the group had already achieved great success by approaching banks over home loans for indigenous people. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.  

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Business banking sector becoming more high-tech

Business banking sector becoming more high-tech

It seems that Aussies cannot get enough of new technological developments and these are playing a leading role in transforming the country into a cashless society. More devices are being built with near field communication capabilities, which allow smartphone owners to wirelessly pay for items in shops simply by flashing their gadget against a scanner. The business banking sector is also becoming more high-tech, as recent research conducted by PayPal showed that 50 per cent of micro-businesses (those with four employers or fewer) already use smartphones to complete corporate tasks, Financial Review reports. "If you look at those numbers, it became an obvious transition to accept payment on smartphones," PayPal spokesperson Adrian Christie told the news provider. The company recently released a credit and debit card reader that can be fitted to a smartphone and this was targeted specifically at the business sector, while National Australia Bank has also launched sophisticated packages for enterprises to utilise. Have a question about business banking? Ask the money gurus at Mozo Answers.

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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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