Acknowledging the unique needs of Small Business and Agribusiness customers, we are committed to improving their banking experiences.
Our Small Business and Agribusiness Advisory Panel (Advisory Panel) reported concerns that small businesses and agribusinesses were reaching out to banks for assistance too late when experiencing financial difficulty.
We had also heard from banks about their desire to understand why small business and agribusiness customers were not reaching out for assistance earlier.
To explore the issue of financial hardship for small business and agribusiness customers, we brought together a range of key stakeholders for a workshop in March 2023.
The purpose of the workshop was to collaborate with banks and other key stakeholders to:
- explore the barriers to assistance for small business and agribusiness customers when they begin to experience financial hardship
- identify practical solutions and ways to connect small business and agribusiness customers with the right support and assistance early
- share examples of good practice in the industry
The workshop included representatives from banks, consumer and government organisations, and our own Small Business and Agribusiness Advisory Panel. It was important that we drew on the experiences of a wide range of stakeholders to understand and consider the challenges from various perspectives.
This report builds on the discussions from the workshop, outlining examples of good practice and suggested actions for banks to consider.