Bank of Queensland and Bendigo Bank have added their support to EFIC Headway, a new facility that helps small and medium-sized exporters access additional working capital from their bank without the need to provide further security.
“Distributing EFIC Headway through the bank network gives Australian exporters quick and easy access to additional funding,” says Angus Armour, Managing Director of Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC).
“Bank of Queensland and Bendigo Bank are using EFIC Headway to increase their capacity to provide working capital support to their customers.”
Bank of Queensland has 220 branches and Bendigo Bank has 348 branches across the country.
Bank of Queensland and Bendigo Bank will join Westpac, HSBC, ANZ, NAB, Commonwealth Bank and BankWest as distributors of the product.
“Our aim was to make the product simple and easy to access,” said Armour.
“The distribution of EFIC Headway through the banking system makes it an integral part of an exporter’s business relationship with their bank.”
Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Headway helps small and medium-sized exporters who have reached their maximum borrowing capacity and need to extend their existing lending facilities with their bank.
EFIC Headway is a guarantee to the bank for the additional amount.
“Bank of Queensland is expanding throughout Australia and is a firm supporter of small business. This adds another service we can offer to not only help our business customers but to assist Australian companies to become effective exporters,” Bank of Queensland Managing Director David Liddy said.
Bendigo Bank Managing Director Rob Hunt said, “Lack of access to finance can constrain small businesses which might otherwise develop significant export markets. This new facility will add to their capacity and generate new growth opportunities for employers across all our communities.”
EFIC Headway has minimal documentation requirements and provides funding for a wide range of export related purposes. To be eligible, Australian companies should be privately owned, with annual sales of less than $50 million and have at least two years’ export experience.
“This is EFIC’s first facility to use the breadth and expertise of the Australian banking system to deliver a product that supports the general funding needs of exporters,” Armour said.
“This means fewer export opportunities are lost to offshore competition due to working capital shortages.”
Companies that have used the facility for export growth include Frosty Boy Australia.
The Queensland soft-serve ice cream manufacturer used the additional working capital made available through EFIC Headway to enter new markets in China, South Korea and Canada.
Other companies using the facility span sectors such as manufacturing, construction, technology and textiles.