A major bank has announced it will be “more than doubling” the number of business bankers across its branch network as part of its sweeping efforts to improve its lending services.
By expanding its headcount in such a dramatic way, Mike Vacy-Lyle, CBA group executive of business banking, explained the group hopes to help ensure its small business customers are adequately supported with a model that prioritises personalised assistance focused on helping local communities rebuild and grow.
“Every small business is unique and we are committed to providing them with support from bankers who know their local community,” Vacy-Lyle said.
“Access to a local business banker can make a world of difference to a small business owner particularly with many making difficult decisions as they navigate the flow on impacts of the pandemic.”
Nearly half of the new business bankers have already started up, with the remainder set to join over the coming months. The group has said the surge in business hires for branches will be complemented with similar efforts to boost support over the phone and through CBA’s digital channels.
The decision to expand its in-store teams follows CBA moving to provide faster funding for small businesses through BizExpress. The system generates same-day decisions on unsecured loans of up to $250,000 and secured loans up to $1m. With BizExpress Online, eligible small business customers can see funds of up to $100,000 deposited into their account in as little as 15 minutes..
In the first phase of the government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee, CBA approved more than $875m in loans to 9,400 businesses. The group has now implemented the second phase with “record low rates” on loans up to $1m.
“By adding more support on the ground across our branches, and providing access to a deeper and long-term pool of financial support, we are backing small business customers with the vital support they need at this uncertain time,” Vacy-Lyle finished.