The expansion will significantly increase ANZ’s existing team of small business specialists with the majority to be located in branches in metropolitan and regional areas with others adding to the specialist services available in ANZ business centres and through ANZ’s small business hotline.
Speaking at the UBS Australian Financial Services Conference, ANZ Group Managing Director Commercial Banking David Hisco said: “Small business owners want to deal with people who understand the pressures and needs of running a business.
“Increasingly our specialists have worked for or been involved in a family-run small business. By expanding our numbers of small business bankers we have also created more expertise in local communities and in specific business segments. To support our specialists, we have also set up district administrative hubs so they can spend more time with customers.
Mr Hisco said employing more small business specialists was part of a strategy built on delivering ‘more convenient banking’ for businesses.
Employing up to 130 additional bankers by early 2010 with a focus on customer service staff that have worked for or been involved in a family-run small business.
Providing a multi-channel specialist offering through branches, relationship managers and dedicated small business telephone and internet-based services.
Expanding support services such as information workshops that help small businesses with practical insights into commercial success and an online forum that gives small business access to business resources and tools at www.thesbhub.com.au.
Committing $8 billion in new lending to support small and medium-sized business during 2009.
“Increasing the size of our team, ensuring customers have access to specialist services when and where they want them, and maintaining lending to small business in more difficult times means our customers have the support they need to manage through the economic downturn and to take advantage of opportunities,” Mr Hisco said.
The expansion of ANZ’s network of small business specialists follows its recently announced support package for small business customers who are experiencing financial difficulty.