The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) has established an expert Small Business and Agribusiness Advisory Panel (the Panel) to provide it with advice and guidance on small business and agribusiness banking matters.

An important part of the BCCC’s role is to ensure that banks uphold the promises they make to their small business and agribusiness customers.

The Panel

Panel members provide the BCCC with expert insight and advice on small business and agribusiness matters, specifically matters related to:

  • the experiences and needs of small business and/or agribusiness customers when engaging with banks
  • the effect of banks’ policies, procedures and processes on small business and/or agribusiness customers, and
  • the impact of regulatory, legislative and any other changes on:
    – the small business and agribusiness community, or
    – banks’ policies, procedures and processes as they relate to small business and agribusiness banking.

The Panel also provides advice and assistance on the BCCC’s work as it relates to small business and agribusiness customers and their banking. This work may include:

  • compliance inquiries and investigations
  • strategic planning
  • stakeholder engagement, and
  • other needs that arise from time to time.

The work of the Panel is supported by regular engagements with organisations that support and advocate for small businesses and agribusinesses throughout Australia.

The Panel has been established in accordance with clause 10.1 b) of the BCCC Charter. For further information please read the Panel’s Terms of Reference.

Panel members

Mr Denis McMahon

Denis is the Senior Solicitor for the Farm & Rural Legal Service, part of Civil Justice Services at Legal Aid Queensland, where he joined in 2003.

Denis provides assistance to farmers and primary producers experiencing financial hardship related to their business, including those with severe debt problems or those in dispute with their lenders. Farm debt mediation is now a large part of this work.

Denis was admitted as a solicitor in Qld in 1979. He has worked as a partner in law firms in regional Queensland, while being actively involved in maintaining the family farm.

Denis was mainly involved in rural type work as most clients were farmers or had rural based businesses.  He became a mediator in 1992, completing the course at Bond University.

Mr Ross Leggett

Ross is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural and Small Business Financial Counselling Service, Southern Queensland. Ross leads the delivery of financial counselling support to rural and small business owners who are either experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, financial hardship.

Ross commenced his career in the banking industry, prior to moving into non-bank finance, and then the Queensland Government to deliver financial assistance programs. Throughout, Ross has focussed his efforts on the agricultural and small business sectors, industries about which he is most passionate.

Outside of work, Ross runs a small cattle enterprise in the South Burnett region of Queensland.

Ross holds a Bachelor of Agricultural and Resource Economics (Hons) and an Executive Master of Public Administration, and has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

Ms Helen Davis

Helen is General Manager of the Small Business Debt Helpline operated by Financial Counselling Australia. The Helpline provides financial counselling support to small business owners experiencing financial difficulty.

Helen is an experienced executive with a strong track record of delivering product and service improvements, leading significant organisation growth and navigating changing legislative and competitive landscapes.  Prior to joining the Small Business Debt Helpline, Helen was Chairperson of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.  Helen has a background in accounting and superannuation and has worked in private, public and not for profit organisations.

Dr Matthew Steen

Matthew obtained a PhD in economics from the University of Sydney in 2005 and subsequently worked as a senior policy adviser for industry associations in the areas of mining, superannuation, small business and manufacturing. Matthew also served as a senior adviser to a Federal Leader of the Opposition. Dr Matthew Steen joined ASBFEO as Executive Director of Policy & Advocacy in 2022.