Australian banks step up to support customers and the economy

More than half a million Australians have one less thing to worry about, with banks providing a six-month loan deferral on an estimated $4.3 billion (AUD 6.8 billion) of business, mortgage and other loan repayments due to the impact of COVID-19.

Data released by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) shows that so far more than 320,000 homeowners have been approved for a loan deferral on their mortgage repayments. An additional 170,000 business owners have also received a deferral on their business loan repayments and nearly 37,000 other loan repayments, such as personal loans and credit cards, have also been deferred.

In addition, to make money available to businesses as quickly as possible, more than $28.8 billion (AUD 45 billion) has been provided in new loans and a further $3.8 billion (AUD 6 billion) through increases to existing loans and credit facilities.

ABA’s chief executive officer (CEO) Anna Bligh said the decision by banks to defer payments will no doubt take some of the pressure off Australians who are doing it tough at the moment.

Bligh said, “Bank call centres have been, and continue to be, inundated with people needing help. Many of these people have never had to ask for assistance before in their lives and may never again. I would strongly urge anyone who needs support to contact their bank.”

“Banks have also been getting on with the job of injecting funds into the Australian economy. Since the start of the pandemic in Australia, banks have provided more than $28.8 (AUD 45 billion) in new lending to Australian businesses, including nearly $5.4 billion (AUD 8.5 billion) to more than 23,000 small businesses,” ABA’s CEO added.

“Supporting and helping business to grow is vital for the success of any economy,” Bligh also said. “The actions of banks will help inject much needed investment into the economy, with the deferrals, new lending and increased credit, allowing people and businesses to spend on the things they need.”

Bligh also shared that Australia is in an “enviable position”, where banks has played a key role in helping and supporting the Australian economy.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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