The Sydney Morning Herald

Article Featuring Jalil Wakim, Director of Lendfin

The Sydney Morning Herald

16th August, 2017



Australia’s major banks are growing ever more cautious with their lending practices.

This guarded approach comes at a cost to aspiring small business owners, who need funding to get things off the ground.

Jalil Wakim, managing director of Lendfin, says it’s a situation that is unlikely to change.

“Start up businesses financing is becoming more challenging because most new business owners don’t have business records, current financials or business plans and, at times, no personal assets behind them as a form of security,” he says.

“So new businesses looking to get working capital directly from a bank without any support or advise facility are really struggling.” Rejection by major banks does not have to be the end of the story.

Small businesses can use the services of a broker, who can harness years of banking sector expertise to find lenders willing to provide finance.

A broker can also assist business owners to present proposals to banks that can be supported by the lenders.

“Major banks are focused on numbers, rather than relationships,” Wakim says.

“We take the opposite approach and try to understand our clients and their operations intimately so that we can support them long term.

“We are experts on policy, we understand credit really well and we’ve got the experience to provide clients with a whole range of alternatives to finance their business growth within reason.”

For those without property to offer as security, the solution will often come in the form of second or third tier lenders and non-bank funders. Although these lenders may be expensive, at times, they are a great option for funding,” Wakim says. “Best case, two or three years later, when the small business has built a track record, we can refinance their loans with a major bank and align our clients with relationship managers.”

Wakim says the benefits of having a broker on side after refinancing are still abundant.

“One of the main issues with banks is that relationship managers don’t stay in the same role for too long,” he says.

“So, to save our clients the headache of trying to explain their enterprises to new business relationship managers every few years, we are here for the long term.

“We understand a client’s business and, if there is an issue with the bank, we will deal with the bank directly, giving our clients more time to work on their businesses.”

Wakim says by going through a broker, business owners can use their start up funds to build their enterprise, rather than spending it all at the beginning. We help clients to avoid using all of their money for the business set up costs and initial equipment purchases,” he says.

“For new businesses, we will help them set up a business plan and what we call a five-year cash flow forecast.

“With those two items, along with a clear credit rating, good character and a great submission document, we’ve got a really good chance of providing our clients with the money they need to grow their business.

As with every financial offer, it is important to understand your product, compare rates and read the fine print.