Business Advice

Commonwealth Bank drops non-monetary default clauses for SMEs … Ikea rolls out faster online shopping for Canberra … Jetstar ranks last in global airline survey

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By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn.

As the first of the big four banks to formally respond to the Carnell inquiry into small business lending practices, the CBA today announced it would be removing “financial indicator covenants” including loan-to-valuation clauses and material adverse change clauses from existing and new small business contracts where the credit facility is $3 million or less.

This means the only way a loan default could occur if the business was paying its dues would be in extreme circumstances like bankruptcy, insolvency or illegal behaviour.

Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell had called on the banks to remove non-monetary clauses from all loans of up to $5 million, but CBA insists applying the changes to loans up to $3 million will cover 96% of its small business customers.

“Customers will have more certainty and control so they can avoid defaulting on their small business loans,” Commonwealth Bank business and private banking group executive Adam Bennett said in a statement.

Ikea rolls out same-day online click and collect to Canberra shoppers

In a response to increased customer demand for easy access to Swedish flat-pack furniture, retailing giant Ikea has rolled out a same-day online click-and-collect model to Canberra-based shoppers. This comes in the wake of the company unveiling similar services in both Tasmania and Queensland.

In a statement, Ikea said two Olympic-sized swimming pools, or approximately 5000 cubed metres, of flat pack furniture had already been sold since Canberra shoppers were given the ability to order online from Ikea in November 2016.

“Since click and collect was launched five months ago there has been strong take up for the service,” Ikea Australia multichannel manager Michael Donath said in a statement.

“We know that our customers want even more convenience when they shop with IKEA and that’s why we’ve brought in a same-day service.”

Ikea is yet to indicate if the company will be rolling out similar services to other states.

Jetstar ranked last in world’s best airline list

In a sad day for budget travellers everywhere, Qantas’ budget airline Jetstar has ranked last on an airline survey of 11,000 travellers by consumer advocacy groups around the world, including Choice.

Coming in below 72 other airlines, Jetstar ranked poorly on a number of indicators assessed by respondents, including flight delays, plane space and comfort, and onboard staff. Jetstar also had the second highest percentage of flight delays, clocking in at an average of four hours.

The company acknowledged there was “room for improvement” but questioned the survey, and attributed its delay issues to the weather.

“Weather is often the source of delays, particularly in the more tropical destinations we operate to, and we’ll always put safety before schedule,” the company told Choice in a statement.

“We know how important it is to get customers to their destination on time, and we recognise there is room for improvement.”

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