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Australia's best bank for SMEs 2017: ANZ

ANZ

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott attracted headlines in 2016 by pulling his firm out of the small and medium-sized enterprise sectors of five of Asia’s booming markets, including Indonesia and Vietnam. A year later, Asia’s loss is Australia’s gain as ANZ lasers in on thriving small businesses in its home market.

ANZ has increased its SME base by about 30,000 customers in a pitched attempt to move up the league table from the third or fourth slot, depending on the measure used, to its stated goal of first place.

ANZ’s ambition is to be the default go-to bank when Australians think of small business banking.

Lending is up about 9%, and ANZ has devoted about 30% of that to startups, helping them along with initiatives including Innovyz Start. That’s where the bank selects a handful of likely new customers to be intensely mentored by small business experts en route to new funding and ramping-up.

ANZ’s SME push is driven by technology via its walled-garden social media platforms and cloud-based innovations such as Employment Hero, which handles day-to-day workplace issues, including payroll and performance management.

ANZ has aggressively rolled out so-called application programming interfaces, which streamline bank-compiled market data and channel it directly to its customers, in readiness for Canberra’s regulatory push to more-open banking.