Australian banks step up to support customers and the economy

BY Australian Retailers Association
05 May 2020

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

Data released by the Australian Banking Association 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 $45 billion has been provided in new loans and a further $6 billion through increases to existing loans and credit facilities.

ABA 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.

“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 $45 billion in new lending to Australian businesses, including nearly $8.5 billion to more than 23,000 small businesses.

“Supporting and helping business to grow is vital for the success of any economy,” Ms Bligh 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.”

“Australia is in an enviable position; our banks are the most stable and some of the strongest in the world.

“The strength of Australia’s banks has allowed the industry to step up and play a key role in helping, not only our customers, but supporting the recovery of the Australian economy, through one of the most challenging periods in our lifetimes,” Ms Bligh said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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