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Westpac to support the Australian Business Growth Fund

28 November

Westpac Group is pleased to announce it has joined with the Australian Government and other financial institutions to establish the Australian Business Growth Fund (BGF).

Westpac, along with ANZ, CBA, and NAB, proposes to commit $100 million to the BGF, and HSBC will contribute $20 million. The Australian Government is also proposing to commit $100 million, bringing the initial investment capacity of the BGF to over $500 million, with the ambition to grow it to $1 billion as it matures.

The BGF will provide equity funding for small and medium sized businesses helping them to grow and fulfil their potential.

Westpac Acting Chief Executive, Business division, Alastair Welsh said: “Westpac has been supporting Australian small and medium businesses for over 200 years. We are proud to be part of this initiative driven by the Prime Minister and Federal Treasurer, aimed at stimulating economic growth and encouraging SMEs.”

“Westpac has over 700,000 small business customers and we have deep relationships with them. We recognise that many find it difficult to attract equity investment that can help them grow without taking on additional debt or giving up control of their business.”

Established Australian businesses will be eligible for long-term equity capital investments of between $5 million and $15 million, where they have generated annual revenue between $2 million and $100 million and can demonstrate three years of revenue growth and profitability.

The BGF’s investment stake will be between 10 and 40 per cent, allowing small business owners to maintain control, while also allowing the BGF to offer the kind of financial support to drive business growth.

The BGF also proposes to offer non-financial support, for example through the provision of strategic advice, mentoring, talent management and network referrals for small and medium businesses to access.

A board and an independent management team will run the BGF commercially and be independent of both the Government and the participating banks.

Mr Welsh said: “Westpac’s vision is to be one of the world’s great service companies, helping our customers, communities and people to prosper and grow. The BGF is another way we are supporting the Australian economy and small businesses.”

For media enquiries:

Dianne Edwards

Westpac Media Relations

M: 0421 623 014