New data from Australia’s largest banks shows that 91 per cent of deferred loans have resumed repayments, with just 5 per cent of deferred business loans and 13 per cent of deferred housing loans yet to resume repayments, the ABA said.
Meanwhile, the ABA said the next phase of support will involve assistance from specialised hardship teams for customers who are unable to make reduced repayments or restructure their loans.
These expanded teams have extensive experience working with customers in financial difficulty due to the loss of a job, a relationship breakdown or many other common causes of financial difficulty.
As part of this support, the ABA said banks have developed an industry-wide, consistent approach to hardship and a new online tool to guide customers in financial hardship and improve transparency.
ABA chief executive Anna Bligh said that while the latest data reveals an encouraging sign of recovery, it’s clear that there are still Australians who need assistance to get through the pandemic.
“Every customer is different. Banks are taking a careful and measured approach that takes into account every customer’s individual circumstances,” Ms Bligh said.
“This is about ensuring that no customer is left in the dark as we emerge from the pandemic. It represents a compact between banks and their customers as we navigate the uncertain path ahead.”
Ms Bligh said customers can expect a thoughtful and compassionate approach, with clear and transparent explanations, regardless of who they bank with.
Further, she said the step-by-step guide developed by the banks will help customers navigate the path out of the pandemic.
“As deferrals and government support measures wind down, banks are reassuring their customers that continued tailored support is available to those who are still struggling,” she said.
“Australian banks will continue to help customers and businesses turn the corner after the pandemic, while providing a fair and compassionate approach to those who can’t get back on their feet.”