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SME loan deferrals to be assessed in coming months

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
07 September 2020 1 minute readShare
SME loan deferrals to be assessed in coming months

Over 100,000 business loan deferrals to small and medium businesses will be assessed over the next few months as the initial six-month deferral period comes to an end, says the Australian Banking Association.

Of the more than 900,000 loans that have been deferred across the pandemic, at least 450,000 loan deferral customers will be assessed in coming weeks, the ABA said.

Of the 105,000 business loan deferrals to small and medium businesses, 65,000 will be assessed by the end of September, and 40,000 by the end of October.

As for mortgages, 260,000 are due to be assessed, with 80,000 by the end of September and 180,000 by the end of October.

Of the 900,000 loans that have had payments deferred, 13 per cent had already resumed repayments by the end of July, with some banks estimating that an additional 100,000 people began resuming payments in the month of August.

According to the ABA, the next steps presented to customers during these assessment calls will include: 

  • Those who can resume repayments at the end of their deferral will be required to do so.
  • Those still in difficulty will work with their bank to restructure or vary their loan, including converting to interest-only payments for a period of time, or extending the term of the loan. 
  • Following the assessment, once the bank understands the customers’ circumstances, in some cases, a further four-month deferral may be granted, but this will not be automatic.  
  • Customers who will be unable to pay their loan over the longer term will be offered tailored assistance that addresses their needs.  

ABA chief executive Anna Bligh said an additional 5,000 new or redeployed staff from Australia’s banks have been working to ensure customers understand their options.

“Customers know what’s best for them. It’s the bank’s job to set out all the options and implications and ensure customers have the information and the time to make the right decision to suit their needs,” Ms Bligh said.

“As customers who are able to begin their repayments again, it allows banks to focus their support on those who really need it.”

SME loan deferrals to be assessed in coming months
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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