open side menu Navigation

Small Business Loans Inquiry

Small Business Loans Inquiry Report (PDF format)

Ministers Media Release (PDF format)

Notice of Inquiry (Terms of Reference)

The Minister for Small Business, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, tasked the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman with undertaking an inquiry into the adequacy of the law and practices governing financial lending to small businesses.

Pursuant to the terms of reference, the Inquiry was to examine cases investigated by the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) on Corporations and Financial Services in its report ‘Impairment of Customer Loans’, and provide advice to government on deficiencies around the regulation and practices of banks. 

Scope of inquiry

The Minister stated that, in undertaking the inquiry, the Ombudsman should:



  • review a selection of the cases that have been identified by the PJC as unfair and ascertain whether there were any deficiencies in the regulation of authorised deposit taking institutions in lending to small business;
  • refer any matters identified in the review to the relevant authority for further consideration as necessary;
  • determine whether the regulatory deficiencies identified by the PJC, or additional deficiencies identified through the inquiry, were being addressed by subsequent Government and industry reforms; and
  • recommend whether additional reform measures should be implemented (legislation, regulations, guidance and practices) to ensure products perform in the way they should, taking into account that consumers have a responsibility to accept their financial decisions, including market losses, when they have been treated fairly, and any impact on the availability and cost of credit to small business.

How to contact the ASBFEO:

If you were not involved in the PJC inquiry and are a small business and/or family enterprise seeking assistance to help resolve a loans dispute, please email

Read the Minister’s media release

Read the ASBFEO media release





Small Business Loans Inquiry hearings - Videos and Transcripts 






  • © 2017 Commonwealth of Australia
  • Disclaimer
  • Privacy