Since 8 July, more than 600 business loans have been deferred, including 14,500 home loans, with NSW said to be the origin of a majority of hardship assistance requests, the Australian Banking Association has revealed.
Anna Bligh, chief executive officer of the Australian Banking Association, reminded customers not to tough it out on their own.
“Lockdowns continue to bite across several states, and banks are again stepping up to help,” Ms Bligh said.
“Support is available to all small businesses and home loan customers significantly impacted by current lockdowns or recovering from recent lockdowns, irrespective of geography or industry.”
To date, hardship approvals and loan deferrals have been heavily skewed towards NSW residents, with the banks said to be reporting many calls for assistance in NSW coming from both business and families affected by the recent shutdowns.
NSW home loan deferrals account for more than two-thirds of total deferrals, while almost 80% of deferred business loans are also from NSW.
According to the ABA, banks have dedicated hardship teams who stand ready to listen and consider a range of options that suit customers’ circumstances.
“Given the lockdown situation in South East Queensland, banks stand ready to assist customers who need help,” Ms Bligh said.
“The sooner you talk to your bank, the sooner they can help you find a solution that is right for you.”
Business support on offer:
- Up to three-month repayment deferrals, with loan terms extended accordingly.
- Offered to all small business customers (business lending less than $3 million and a turnover of less than $5 million), which includes up to 98% of small businesses.
- Only for loans in good standing (i.e. repayments up to date or engaged in a payment program with their bank).
During the peak of the crisis in 2020, almost 500,000 home loans and more than 225,000 business loans were deferred.