COVID-19 support: don’t tough it out on your own.
8 July 2021
The Australian Banking Association has today announced further support for customers affected by continuing COVID-19 lockdowns or those recovering from recent lockdowns.
Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said the package will help customers and businesses suffering as a result of lockdowns throughout Australia.
“While we know that the Australian economy is in good shape, we also know that recent lockdowns have taken their toll on customers and the recovery can be slow”, Ms Bligh said.
“Customers can rest assured that if they need help, they will get it. Your bank will help you find a way through, don’t tough it out on your own.”
“Customers can rest assured that if they need help, they will get it. Your bank will help you find a way through, don’t tough it out on your own.”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
“Banks also stand ready to support larger businesses and they will be assessed on a case by case basis.”
“Customers who need support should contact their bank”, she said.
The national support package will be available to all small businesses and home loan customers significantly impacted by current lockdowns or recovery from recent lockdowns, irrespective of geography or industry.
On application, support includes:
Business banking repayment deferrals
- Up to 3 month repayment deferrals, with loan terms extended accordingly
- Offered to all small business customers (business lending less than $3m and a turnover of less than $5m), 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)
Everyday banking support
- Refunds of merchant terminal fees for up to 3 months
- Waiving of fees and notice periods on Cash Deposit and Farm Management Deposit accounts for up to 3 months
Home loan support
- Range of support measures, including deferrals on a month by month basis
- Available to both individual and business customers
“This pandemic demonstrates why strong and stable banks are so important for the nation’s economy. Banks are ready to do whatever they can to shield their customers from the impact of these recent lockdowns”, Ms Bligh said.
The package is subject to re-authorisation by the ACCC which the ABA is urgently seeking.
“A number of our banks actually have maternity leave lending products that are specific to people on parental leave, paid and unpaid, to help them through, what as I said, can be a difficult time.”
The number of micro businesses grew 10% to 1.55 million in the year to June 2022. During the same period, the number of small businesses grew 3% to 955,861 after an extraordinary period of growth during the 2021 financial year, jumping 15% to 931,791.