APRA pledges caution on small business lending

CCIWA has extracted a significant commitment from the national lending regulator after it pledged to take caution to spare small businesses from a future lending squeeze. 

Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) Chair Wayne Byres wrote to CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell on April 8, committing the regulator to be “alert to the need to avoid adverse impacts on small business finance”. 

Byres was responding to CCIWA’s letter this week, which warned against a macroprudential lending squeeze, with concern among 8,000 WA small businesses and sole traders. 

“APRA’s intent would be that its actions would be targeted to address specific concerns, and avoid any unintended consequences, to the maximum extent possible,” he wrote. 

On Monday CCIWA wrote to APRA to raise concerns that tighter lending standards for households would have the side-effect of hurting small businesses. 

CCIWA urged APRA to ensure small businesses are insulated from any such approach. It is believed CCIWA is the first WA business group to flag this emerging issue with the national regulator. 

“This a big commitment we’ve won from the national regulator; it’s about defending WA’s small businesses from a lending squeeze, which is a concern for many of our members,” Rodwell said. 

Thousands of small business in our membership and across the economy can feel more confident about the regulator’s future actions with this undertaking secured.  

We’re encouraged that APRA is in touch with these concerns and has listened to our stand on behalf of WA’s small businesses.” 

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