Banks now more lenient for SME loans, but still not as flexible as private lenders

Private lenders are more flexible for SME loansA recent article from Australian Broker stated that Australia’s major banks have introduced more lenient lending criteria to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners to purchase property.

Westpac announced it would increase its loan to value ratio (LVR) from 80% to 90% following similar changes from Commonwealth Bank earlier in the year. Westpac, CBA and St. George also all announced they would only require one year of financial records as income verification for self-employed borrowers. Previously they had required two years of financial records and tax returns.

SME loans need flexibility

While it’s great that SMEs now have more opportunities to access bank funding, they are still required to show serviceability which isn’t always possible. Similarly, for businesses that need quick turnarounds and short-term funding, a bank still isn’t going to be the right source for funds.

The difference between a bank and a private lender is that a bank focusses on serviceability while a private lender focusses solely on asset value and exit strategy. At Private Mortgages Australia all our loans come with a component or prepaid interest so we don’t need to worry about serviceability. This distinction is the main reason PMA is able to service so many SME loans for short-term finance.

If you have an SME client who can’t get funding from the banks, give PMA a call.

By Tony Barbone

Managing Director, Private Mortgages Australia