Major Banks Offer Loan Relief For New South Wales Residents Affected By Viral Blocking



Australia’s major banks have increased their support for customers negatively impacted by the continued isolation from the coronavirus that has hit New South Wales.

Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB and ANZ have announced a number of measures, including deferred loans and exemptions from fees for NSW residents and businesses isolated by the Bondi Covid-19 cluster.

These measures are available to customers who have seen their incomes fall due to the forced closures of businesses in the Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Illawarra regions.

Banks will also offer loan customers the ability to switch to fixed rates, suspend payments, credit cards and lower interest rates.

CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said he is confident Sydney can overcome its two-week isolation, but urges affected residents to contact their bank immediately if they need support.

“I urge anyone who is concerned about their financial situation to contact their bank or financial institution to find out what assistance is available to them,” said Mr Comin.

Comin noted that some 20,000 Sydney bank employees were forced to work from home, but pledged that banking services would remain open during this period.

“Banking is a very important service and we are still open for business,” he said.

All four major banks will offer financial advice during this period.

NAB commercial bank chief executive Andrew Irwin said each banker will deal with each situation on a case-by-case basis.

“Our bankers will work with clients to understand their individual situation, the pressures they are experiencing, and how we can then tailor support specifically for them,” he said.

Westpac’s head of customer and business affairs, Chris de Bruyne, warned that the pandemic continues to pose challenges to businesses and the bank will offer one-on-one support.

During the peak of the pandemic last year, the Australian banking industry implemented massive support measures, including a loan deferral of up to six months for clients, resulting in financial stress.

“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose challenges for households and small business owners, and we know that some clients in NSW will need an extra helping hand to overcome the latest constraints,” said Mr de Bruyne.

“We have dedicated support teams ready to help customers and we are here to help them get back on their feet.”

Westpac measures also include its subsidiaries; Bank of Melbourne, St. George and BankSA.

Business customers marked with the ANZ flag still have access to the coronavirus-related SME loan recovery scheme, which offers loans to firms at reduced rates of up to $ 5 million.

“We know this isolation will have a big impact on our customers in and around Sydney,” said ANZ CEO Mark Hand.

“As with the restrictions we’ve seen in other states, we know it can take some time before families and businesses feel the real impact.

“We want our clients to know that they have access to help during this difficult time.

Major Australian banks offer the following support:

Commonwealth Bank retail customers

  • Access to funds from repainting tools and daily compensation accounts.
  • Home loan debt restructuring.
  • Conversion of home loans to a fixed rate.
  • Reducing payments to the minimum monthly amount.
  • Freeze forced sales until September 2021 for customers affected by Covid-19.

Business clients of the Bank of the Commonwealth

  • Deferral of repayment for asset financing and some business loans.
  • Refund of payment for the trading terminal for up to 90 days.
  • Exemption from fees for cash deposits and farm management deposit accounts.
  • Individual support for large business clients
  • Loans through the Federal Government’s SME Loan Reimbursement Program, which has a payback period of 12 months or more. Loans are up to $ 5 million at rates ranging from 2.6% to 3.75%.

Westpac Consumer Support Measures

  • Reduced interest rate and credit card.
  • Postponement or reduction of payments on home and personal loans. This includes lowering interest rates or extending the loan.
  • Refusal to pay.
  • Debt restructuring.
  • financial advice and assistance in difficult situations.

Westpac support measures for business clients

  • Personalized management support for small business clients facing financial difficulties.
  • Reduced or deferred maturity for financing assets and equipment.
  • Commission-free business loan restructuring.
  • Referral to financial advice.
  • Access to the SME Recovery Loan Scheme.

NAB consumer support measures

  • Temporary discounts for payments agreed with the bank.
  • Temporary gaps in payment.
  • Home loan restructuring or debt consolidation.
  • Financial consulting.

NAB or Enterprise Support

  • Business restructuring, which includes a reduction or elimination of application fees.
  • Deferral of payment of the principal amount of the debt.
  • Waiver of expenses and fees for the withdrawal of term deposits.
  • Credit card and personal loan support.
  • Support for professional well-being.

ANZ customer assistance

  • Help with short-term repayment.
  • Waiver of Fees.
  • Restructuring of debt on housing loans, including the transition to a fixed rate.

Helping ANZ business

  • Decreased short-term maturity on asset finance or business loans.
  • Refund of payment for the trading terminal and some other waivers from the commission.
  • Financial consulting.


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