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New guide for bank rates

ACCOUNTING body CPA Australia and research group Cannex Australia have launched a new service that provides a benchmark analysis of small business lending rates, fees and charges. CPA Australia state director Ian Watt said about 10 per cent of small businesses switched banks in the past three years and more than a third contemplated switching. “Businesses contemplating switching are often put off by concerns about the complexity of switching and the lack of information on comparative fees, charges and rates,” he said. Mr Watt said the indicator rates would help small business by providing an overview of the market, a better understanding of the rate they are paying and their bank’s assessment of their risk. He said the indicators may also help small business owners negotiate new rates if they feel their bank has not assessed their business appropriately. For example, he said a business paying more than 11 or 12 per cent on a $50,000 overdraft secured by residential property may wish to seek advice from their bank on why the margin they are paying is in the upper range. The CPA Cannex small business finance indicators, which cover a range of lending products, will be updated on a weekly basis.

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