23 April 2020
Today the Treasurer met with the CEOs of ANZ, NAB, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank who agreed to bolster their efforts to prioritise any business needing funding to bridge the gap until the first Jobkeeper payments are made in May.
It was agreed special hotlines would be set up to help manage the applications from businesses. Banks would also bring Jobkeeper-related applications to the front of the queue and work with the ATO to accelerate the assessment process.
Banks have already granted more than $700 million worth of loans to businesses to help them through the crisis. The industry has a range of support to small businesses affected by COVID19, including six month deferrals on loans attached to the business, extending existing lines of credit and waiving fees and charges.
“From today banks are bolstering their efforts to fast-track any outstanding applications from businesses seeking funding to help them pay staff until the Jobkeeper supplement is paid in May.”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said that banks are working tirelessly to process applications as quickly as possible, however more needed to be done in order to ensure businesses met the deadlines for eligibility for the Jobkeeper program.
“Throughout this crisis banks have worked hard to ensure they keep businesses afloat and keep people in jobs, with more than $700 million already lent to businesses to help see them through the pandemic,” Ms Bligh said.
“From today banks are bolstering their efforts to fast-track any outstanding applications from businesses seeking funding to help them pay staff until the Jobkeeper supplement is paid in May.
“A dedicated hotline will be set up by each major bank to help service the businesses requesting this important lifeline,” she said.
Other ABA member banks are looking to take actions relevant to their own customers.
Contact: Rory Grant 0475 741 007
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.