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ANZ to target SME lending and education in 2011

ANZ to target SME lending and education in 2011

Dec. 7 (BusinessDesk) ANZ New Zealand plans to lend $3 billion to small and medium-sized businesses in 2011, on top of the expected $3.5 million needed to refinance existing customers.

Chief executive David Hisco said the money will help such businesses “access appropriate credit and assist New Zealand's continuing economic recovery.” Normal lending criteria will apply.

ANZ is also setting up a specialist business banking unit to focus on small and medium-sized businesses and has appointed Fred Ohlsson to head it, subject to Reserve Bank approval.

Ohlsson was previously ANZ's Australian parent's general manager of global commercial banking and before that worked for consultancy firm McKinsey & Co.As well as providing funding, ANZ plans to fund a national series of seminars and workshops for small to medium-sized business customers.

“Small and medium sized businesses are the life-blood of the New Zealand economy and, as New Zealand's largest bank, we have a critical role to play in supporting their growth and the national economic recovery,” Hisco said.

ANZ's latest general disclosure statement for its New Zealand branch, which includes lending by its ANZ Bank and National Bank brands, showed non-housing loans and advances fell to $39.18 billion at September 30 from $40.23 billion a year earlier.

(BusinessDesk) 14:44:57

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