24 Feb 2009

ASB low-interest fund aimed at keeping jobs

7:06 pm on 24 February 2009

ASB Bank has set up a $1 billion fund to lend money to businesses at below market rates if they can prove it will create or save jobs.

It will charge 5% interest rate for such loans, which the bank says is significantly below rates for ordinary business loans.

The minimum loan will be $100,000 and the maximum $10 million.

Chief executive Charles Pink says the fund is aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses and farms to create new jobs or stop them from shedding staff.

Mr Pink says it could help businesses whose customers are taking longer to pay or those who want to buy new machinery or begin a new project.