7 March 2023
Attributable to ABA Chief Executive Officer Anna Bligh:
“As the RBA seeks to address the inflation challenge, overall bank data indicates Australian mortgage holders remain well-placed to navigate this difficult period. Household savings are high, and unemployment remains at close to record lows. Feedback from banks is that there have been no increases in hardship applications so far.
However, banks are acutely aware of the challenges some customers face in Australia’s current cycle of increasing interest rates and higher cost of living.
As occurred during COVID, banks will assist those who are experiencing financial difficulty, offering options such as loan restructuring, interest only payments, an extension of the term of a loan or payment deferrals.
Many bank support teams are proactively communicating with customers at risk of financial difficulty. The network of help is highly structured, organised and experienced.
Customers are also strongly urged to reach out to access these services. Those concerned should get in touch with their bank as early as possible.
Competition in the banking sector is exceptionally strong with record levels of refinancing underway.
Customers are urged to be proactive, and ensure they are getting the best deal for their banking services.
Data released last Friday shows customers are already doing this, with 308,961 mortgages refinanced in the last six months – that’s 2,370 Australians refinancing every working day – more than ever before. Of these, 214,916 switched between lenders, while 94,045 refinanced with their existing lender.”
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