Australian SMEs need & deserve a borrowers’ Bill of Rights

Australian SMEs need & deserve a borrowers’ Bill of Rights

Predatory lenders exist in the SME space just like the payday personal lenders. The risk is the less scrupulous operators will spoil an exciting new source of SME funding.  American small business borrowers now have a Bill of Rights which will afford significant protection from predatory lenders. US lenders which join the Responsible Business lending Coaltion commit to ensuring borrowers’ rights as follows:

1. The right to transparent pricing and terms, including a right to see an annualised interest rate and all fees.
2. The right to non-abusive products, so that borrowers don’t get trapped in a vicious cycle of expensive re-borrowing.
3. The right to responsible underwriting, so that borrowers are not placed in loans they are unable to repay.
4. The right to fair treatment from brokers, so that borrowers are not steered into the most expensive loans.
5. The right to inclusive credit access, without discrimination.
6. The right to fair collection practices, to prevent harassment and unfair treatment.

Small business owners in other countries also need and deserve such protection. We are calling on Australian SME lenders and other stakeholders to learn from the US experience and form a coalition to establish a small business borrowers’ Bill of Rights for Australian SMEs. 

Read more in this Smart Company article 


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