theBankDoctor is an independent albeit unelected, unauthorised and unpaid voice of SMEs.

We advocate for SMEs by raising issues related to the access of funding on fair and competitive terms. We engage with industry associations, bank and non-bank lenders, advisors, media, regulators and other stakeholders. We aim to constructively raise new and different ideas for public debate in order to better protect and enhance the interests of Australia’s small business sector.

Examples of our advocacy on behalf of SMEs include:

Improving transparency & disclosure in the SME fintech lending market
theBankDoctor initiated a joint project involving the Australian Small Business & Family Enterprise office, Australian Finance Industry Association & Fintech Australia which resulted in a report on Fintech Lending to SMEs – Improving Transparency & Disclosure

This report was the catalyst fir the establishment of the AFIA Online Business Lenders Code of Lending Practice for seven balance sheet lenders which was signed in June 2018 and came into force from January 2019. The Code informs SMEs what they can expect when dealing with a signatory to the Code and it also includes a pricing comparison tool which reveals in clear terms the true total cost of borrowing.

We proposed a small business borrowers Bill of Rights to foster greater transparency and accountability across the SME lending sector and to give all small business borrowers the rights they deserve.

The Financial System Inquiry
theBankDoctor was active in making submissions and commentary on the Financial System Inquiry focussing on the difficulties faced by SMEs when trying to access finance to establish and grow their business.

Mental Health & SMEs
theBankDoctor is a member of the Heads Up Small Business Advisory Group. Heads Up is a free resource centre that provides individuals and businesses tools and resources to enable them to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in workplace mental health.

Helping Australians start their own small business
We proposed a First Business Owners Scheme similar to the First Home Owners Scheme this scheme but designed to help Australians get their own small business up and running.

Ethics & Culture in banking
theBankDoctor is an active member and promoter of the Banking & Finance Oath in order to boost commitment to ethical standards in the banking and finance sector.

Should you wish to provide input on any of the above issues or suggest other ways in which we might advocate for SMEs please contact us.