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Borrow

Banks offer customer assistance re COVID-19

By Grace Ormsby · March 16 2020
Reading:
egg
egg

Borrow

Banks offer customer assistance re COVID-19

By Grace Ormsby
March 16 2020
Reading:
egg
egg
customer assistance

Banks offer customer assistance re COVID-19

author image
By Grace Ormsby · March 16 2020
Reading:
egg
egg
customer assistance

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is the latest financial institution to announce a number of assistance measures for short and long-term business and consumer support in the wake of coronavirus concerns.

It’s a “unique situation for the global and local economy”, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s managing director, Marnie Baker, has outlined.

“Health, safety and wellbeing will always be of paramount importance,” she continued.

“While the full-reaching human and economic impacts of COVID-19 are still largely unknown and evolving, we are working with the industry and government to manage the impact on our customers, staff, communities and partners.”

Noting that the bank has “a responsibility and commitment to support those affected through the good times and the rougher times”, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank customers nationwide will have access to a financial assistance package.

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Home loan and business loan customers can apply for relief on loans for up to three months, while fees will be waivered for the restructuring or consolidation of loans.

The bank has also advised that credit card customers can apply for an emergency credit card limit increase, and discounted interest rates will be provided on new personal loans taken out by existing Bendigo Bank customers.

It has also waived interest rate reductions for early withdrawals on term deposits prior to maturity.

Several of the big four banks have also outlined measures to support affected customers, which include repayment relief on home loans, and an expansion of servicing capabilities, in the wake of a joint statement from the Australian Banking Association. 

The Australian Banking Association’s position

Last week, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) backed Australia’s banks as being in a “strong” position. 

Chair of the Australian Banking Association and Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn noted that “Australia has a very strong financial system with banks that are well capitalised and have strong balance sheets”. 

“Banks have supported the country through difficult times in the past and continue to do so. We are very much open for business,” he said.

ABA CEO Anna Bligh indicated that banks “stand ready to support customers, and if anyone is in need of assistance, they shouldn’t wait but come forward as soon as possible”.

While the type of assistance offered will depend on individual circumstances, the ABA said it can include: a deferral of scheduled loan repayments, waiving of fees and charges, interest-free periods or no interest rate increases, and debt consolidation.  

ANZ

ANZ said it would support suspension of interest repayments, provide additional credit and provide early access to term deposits without incurring break fees.

Westpac

Westpac outlined that its hardship assistance program will be made available to affected customers, which includes the deferring of repayments for up to three months.

Speaking to nestegg’s sister brand Mortgage Business, Will Ranken, Westpac general manager, home loans, said the bank recognises that “COVID-19 is impacting our customers and we are committed to supporting them during this time”.

He said they are encouraging “any customer with concerns about their loans and repayments to talk to us so we can provide support”.

“Westpac has a dedicated hardship assistance program to help customers experiencing financial stress, including deferring repayments.”

NAB

NAB will offer support services to customers, such as the suspension of payments or interest, a reduction of the loan amount or the waiving of fees.

A spokesperson said the bank will work with all customers on a “case-by-case basis”, and encourages any customer experiencing hardship to contact NAB.  

 

 

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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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