As restrictions begin to ease throughout most parts of Australia, small and medium businesses are starting to think about recovery and beyond. But bouncing back from a pandemic certainly doesn’t mean business as usual. More than ever, SMEs need their bank to focus on the relationship with the people running the business; knowing a bank has your back allows a company to feel supported and able to move into a new period of growth. Challenger banks such as Judo Bank are disrupting the sector to help power big ideas to sustain and scale Australian businesses.
Here’s what businesses need right now from their banks to get back to the big-time.
Let’s face it, it’s been a tough few months. At Judo Bank, its relationship directors are working particularly closely with people who work in businesses directly impacted by Covid-19, such as hospitality, leisure, tourism and those who rely on supplies from China. Across the board, Judo bank’s relationship directors have got on the front foot; talking to all its customers in a bid to make sure their business has access to the funding it might need – not just over the coming weeks, but into the future.
One in ten small business owners want to see added value in the relationship with their bank, according to the 2019 SME Banking Insights Annual Report. This should come in the form of dedicated guidance, proactive business insights, and providing help when and where it is needed – whether that’s running the day-to-day operations or planning for long term strategic goals. Judo Bank believes fostering strong relationships and giving tailored solutions to customers is the best way to give Australian businesses a fairer go, and a better service.
One in four SMEs who request credit from the big banks get rejected, found the SME Banking Insights Annual Report. Global pandemic to one side, Judo Bank believes it’s best to plan for uncertainty rather than be forced to react to it, one of the reasons they are actively lending to SMEs who are trying to move forward as best they can. Now is not the time to shut up shop or wait and see; banks have a critical role in ensuring Australian businesses have access to working capital and funds to help them navigate and overcome potential disruptions. Having the support of a challenger bank like Judo, could be key for businesses to get on a new footing.
Nearly 19 per cent of SMEs want their bank to improve the business knowledge of its staff who deal with SMEs. Judo Bank has invested heavily in the acquisition of the country’s top banking talent based on the fervent belief that knowledgeable bankers, properly empowered to make independent decisions, and freed from the rigid policies of traditional lenders, can once again provide Australian businesses with funding they need, when they need it, and the service they deserve.
There’s been coordinated action from the Australian Government, the RBA and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to support a flow of credit to the Australian economy by releasing the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. This means the government gives a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME leaders like Judo Bank for new, unsecured loans to be used for working capital. Judo Bank has also secured an extra $500 million of funding from the government to support the immediate lending needs of Australian SMEs.
Finally, the one single thing that Australian businesses need today, tomorrow and well into the future, is a direct line of contact between business and banker. Having access to a dedicated banker, one who can support and act upon the ever-changing needs of their client’s business is paramount. As a challenger bank, Judo is reliant on its bankers, not a call centre, to build meaningful and lasting business relationships.