The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has created an environment of uncertainty across the financial sector, leading to a major slow down in credit for business owners.

Commissioner Hayne’s findings have uncovered layers of unnecessarily complex regulation governing lending practices in Australia, and with the final report not due until at least February 2019, many business owners have been left scratching their heads as to what this means in practical terms now, and in the future.

Bruce Debenham, Director of Perks Banking & Finance, who has been called as an expert witness on banking misconduct on several occasions, says that many clients have expressed major concerns with the current lending environment.

The process for SMEs to borrow money has become increasingly complex due to the systems, policies and procedures involved and the frequent changes to risk appetite by the banks. We have already seen a major slowdown in credit over the past 12 months due to the environment of uncertainty surrounding the Royal Commission and the increased regulation and scrutiny of lending practices.

Traditionally, business owners would face a scenario where they spend days, if not weeks, speaking to banks to find the best deal before they can begin the approval process, which can take four to six weeks, or sometimes longer. That’s where fintechs can be game-changers for SMEs in terms of their ability to utilise technology such as artificial intelligence to automate many of the lengthy approval processes such as credit checks and verifying expenditure.

At Perks, we have established relationships with several of these companies, enabling us to get approval and turn around funds for SMEs in a matter of days. That certainty is making a huge difference for our clients. For example, Bruce can recall scenarios where we have submitted a loan application on a Monday, received approval on a Wednesday and the client had the money by Thursday.

Ultimately every situation is different, and we work closely with our clients to ensure that we find the appropriate lending solution for their individual needs, whether that be through a bank or a fintech. This is a new area of business where the larger institutions are struggling to adapt, but an area that Perks Banking & Finance can certainly help with.

If you would like to discuss your credit options further, please don’t hesitate to contact Bruce Debenham on 8273 9300 or at bdebenham@perks.com.au