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Best value New Zealand small business banking 2013

MEDIA RELEASE

“SMALL BUSINESS IS SET TO START GROWING”

CANSTAR releases best value New Zealand small business banking award for 2013

29th August 2013: The entrepreneurial spirit in New Zealand is alive and well: according to Statistics New Zealand there are approximately 469,000 businesses in New Zealand, 97% of which are small businesses. While 69% of those businesses do not engage any employees, the remaining small businesses with less than 20 employees account for approximately 30% of the workforce. Successfully realising their potential requires specialist support from financial institutions in terms of both products and business coaching.

“Last month at the 26th Annual SEAANZ Conference (Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand) the Association President, Professor Tim Mazzarol, noted that despite the importance of small enterprises, the level of attention they have historically received in both academic and government terms has been low,” said CANSTAR General Manager – New Zealand, Derek Bonnar. “It means that the role of financial institutions is particularly important: in addition to providing financial products they need also to step into that research and policy breach and provide education, training and support for their small business customers. Fortunately our research indicates that New Zealand small businesses are in good hands.”

Each year CANSTAR research the small business banking offerings available from New Zealand financial institutions. This consists of a review of the loan, credit card and deposit products that are available, as well as assessment of important institutional factors. This includes branch coverage, the availability of relationship managers, online banking functionality, merchant and education services. This year CANSTAR congratulate Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) on winning the best value New Zealand small business award.

“BNZ’s success is a result of their strong institutional offering and value of their product suite,” said Mr Bonnar. “It is their consistent performance across the different product sectors coupled with their serviceability and the benefits they offer to their small business customers that mark them as best in the industry for 2013.”

“BNZ provide an impressive range of business templates and tools,” said Mr Bonnar. “Running a small business is time intensive; giving business owners access to market knowledge to help identify business growth opportunities is a great value-add. An example is their Business Start-up Health Check tool, which is designed to assess how well positioned a person may be to succeed in a new business. At the end of the health check, the customer receives a downloadable list of recommended actions to take. It provides a wealth of information and templates to help get their businesses heading in the right direction.”


Responding to the award, Harry Ferreira, BNZ’s Head of Small Business, Retail, said that BNZ love being a part of their customers’ journeys. “Business owners get into business for reasons as diverse as their business,” he observes. “Owning a business is a fast flowing, rapidly changing thing, exciting, frustrating and nerve wracking at the same time. We enjoy not just hearing about, but also helping our customers to tell their stories to the world. I personally find the drive, passion and care people have for their small businesses to be inspiring and motivating.”

While Mr Ferreira acknowledges a number of current challenges for small business, including cashflow and the pending RBNZ Loan to valuation ratio changes, he believes that there are clear opportunities ahead. “The economy is looking set to start growing, especially with the huge rebuild efforts beginning to take shape in Christchurch,” he says. “This is a clear opportunity for the small business sector to grow rapidly. Industries such as the Technology, Health, Migrant and Food and Beverage are all areas we have identified to have strong future growth opportunities which will in turn help stimulate better GDP performance per capita.”

The CANSTAR best value New Zealand small business award acknowledges not only BNZ’s strong product suite but the valuable contribution they make to the small business sector overall.

To read CANSTAR’s small business award report, please visit www.canstar.co.nz.

Harry Ferreira, BNZ’s Head of Small Business, Retail, has shared his views on some of the main challenges, opportunities and requirements faced by New Zealand small business owners today. These can also be accessed at www.canstar.co.nz.


ENDS


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