Don’t tough it out on your own
15 September 2021
More than 57,000 customers have received hardship assistance during recent lockdowns across Australia, including more than 30,000 loan payment deferrals on home and business loans.
New statistics released by the Australian Banking Association today show hardship assistance, which includes deferring credit card payments and waiving fees and charges, has almost tripled over the last month, up to 57,000 from 20,000 last month.
Home loan deferrals have grown to more than 27,000, up from 14,500 last month, while deferred business loans also increased to more than 3,500 from just 600 in the same period.
Comparatively, this is significantly below the peak assistance provided in 2020, which saw more than one million home and business loans deferred.
Anna Bligh, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Banking Association, said while the majority of hardship approvals have come from NSW and Victoria, customers are reminded not to tough it out on their own no matter where they live.
“it is no surprise more strain is being put on people and businesses but it is important to remember that banks are here to help”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
“As lockdowns continue to be extended across cities and states, it is no surprise more strain is being put on people and businesses but it is important to remember that banks are here to help,” Ms Bligh said.
“Over the last month, we have seen a substantial rise in business owners putting their hand up for assistance, and I encourage anyone else who is feeling the strain to do the same.
“Support is available to all small businesses and home loan customers significantly impacted by current lockdowns or recovering from recent lockdowns, no matter where they live or their line of work,” she said.
The majority of customers taking up hardship and deferral assistance continue to be located in NSW. More than half of all hardship (57 per cent), housing deferrals (69 per cent), and business deferrals, (72 per cent), are located in NSW.
Home loan deferrals continue to be the most common type of deferral provided to customers, with 88 per cent of all deferrals related to home loans.
Banks have dedicated hardship teams who can have a range of options available to suit customers’ needs.
“The sooner you talk to your bank, the sooner they can help you find a solution that is right for you,” Ms Bligh said.
As more Australians experience financial scams, the ABA has launched a new campaign to raise awareness on the increasing threat of scams, warning Australians to be on the lookout for scam phone calls, texts and emails. FULL TRANSCRIPT: ABA CEO Anna Bligh spoke with ABC Radio’s Ross Marsden. Ross Marsden The Australian Banking Association has… Read more »
“Many people don’t realise how prevalent financial abuse is and that it may be a red flag for future violence.”