While the Hayne Royal Commission may lead to tightening of lending, enhanced finance offerings for SMEs is a must, according to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).

“SMEs are a significant contributor to Australia’s GDP and therefore, securing their growth and prosperity should be an economic imperative,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“Government should provide appropriate incentives that encourage financial institutions to urgently re-examine their finance offerings for SMEs.

“These offerings should include the provision of varying options allowing SMEs access to funding for starting up a business and for working capital.

“While the priority of a financial institution is generating returns for shareholders, we believe that banks play a dominant role in financial markets impacting all businesses.

“We hold the view that banks and similar institutions have wider obligations towards ensuring the financial health of the business community.

“The environment that is required is one of responsible and affordable lending that supports small business viability and growth.

“We also continue to advocate for loan guarantee schemes to be initiated for Australia to be in line with similar initiatives that exist in overseas jurisdictions,” said Mr Conway.

These recommendations stem from the Australian Small Business White Paper produced by the IPA in partnership with the IPA Deakin SME Research Centre. For more information go to: