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Big 4 banks offer support for customers impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns

  • June 29 2021
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Borrow

Big 4 banks offer support for customers impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns

By Cameron Micallef
June 29 2021

The big four banks are offering retail and business customers support as NSW battles through a second lockdown. 

Big four banks

Big 4 banks offer support for customers impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns

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  • June 29 2021
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The big four banks are offering retail and business customers support as NSW battles through a second lockdown. 

Big four banks

Australia’s major four lenders have each come out with support for NSW customers who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a two-week lockdown for Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong from 6pm on Saturday, 26 June, until midnight on Friday, 9 July.

According to the state's Premier, the restrictions or lockdown measures mean there are only four reasons residents can leave their home including shopping for food or other essential goods and services; medical care or compassionate needs, including getting vaccinated; exercise outdoors, in groups less than 10; and essential work or education, where they cannot work or study at home.

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Having an obvious impact on businesses and consumers' livelihoods, the banks were quick to reach out to their customers. 

As New South Wales enters a period of tougher COVID-19 restrictions, NAB group executive, Andrew Irvine, said the bank remains ready to support customers who need help.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve been there to support customers and our bankers are ready and willing to help any businesses and individuals who need assistance," Mr Irvine said.

Here’s what your bank is offering:

Commonwealth Bank

Australia’s largest bank has announced it is offering retail and business customers impacted by the latest lockdown in New South Wales access to a raft of support and assistance measures. 

CBA’s CEO Matt Comyn said he wanted to assure CBA customers who need assistance that the bank has put measures in place to offer support, including short-term repayment deferrals.  

“We know this lockdown will have an impact on the Sydney-based business community and we’ve been speaking to our customers to understand if they need assistance. Our business customers have demonstrated great resilience throughout the pandemic and we’re committed to doing what we can to help them through this lockdown period and beyond,” he explained.

Business customer support

  • Repayment deferrals on asset finance and eligible business loans;
  • A refund of merchant terminal fees for up to 90 days for eligible customers;
  • A waiving of fees and notice periods on Cash Deposit and Farm Management Deposit accounts for eligible customers;
  • Specialised tailored support for larger business customers; and
  • CBA loans provided through the Federal Government-backed SME Loan Recovery Scheme. This offers eligible businesses loans up to $5 million with variable interest rates from as low as 2.6 per cent p.a. for secured loans, and from 2.85 per cent p.a. for secured loans with a repayment holiday from 12 months. Unsecured loans are available with rates from 3.25 per cent p.a., and from 3.75 per cent p.a. with a repayment holiday from 12 months.

Retail customer support 

  • Accessing money you may have available in redraw in your eligible loan;
  • Restructuring your home loan debt;
  • Switching to a Fixed Rate home loan;
  • Reducing your repayments to the minimum monthly repayment amount; and
  • Using money in your Everyday Offset (if available to you).
  • CBA has also introduced a freeze on forced sales until September 2021 this year for eligible customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who are struggling with repayments.

Westpac

Westpac has outlined the support measures available to help business and consumer customers impacted by the latest COVID-19 restrictions in Sydney.

Customers in need of financial assistance can access the bank's dedicated support team who will tailor assistance to suit the customer’s circumstances.

“We want our customers to know we are here to support them through this period. Westpac offers a range of options tailored to suit the customer’s individual circumstances, including reduced or deferred repayments and low interest rate loans,” said Chris de Bruin, Westpac Chief Executive Consumer & Business Banking.

Business customers

  • Case management support for our small business customers experiencing financial difficulty.
  • Reduced or deferred repayments on asset and equipment finance and eligible business loans.
  • Business loan restructuring with no fees incurred.
  • Referrals to financial counsellors or other support services.
  • Eligible customers may be able to access low interest rate business loans through the Federal Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme.

Consumer customers

  • Credit card repayment and interest rate reductions for a period of time.
  • Home or personal loan repayment deferrals or reductions, interest rate reductions and loan term extensions.
  • Fee waivers across a range of products.
  • Restructuring of debt.
  • Referrals to financial counsellors or other support services.

NAB

The National Australia Bank highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every business person and consumer differently.

“Our bankers will work with customers to understand their individual situation, the pressures they’re under and how we can then tailor support specifically for them,” Mr Irvine said.

“Our bankers are experienced and well versed with helping step customers through things and be able to put in place solutions to help.”

Business customers 

  • Restructuring of business facilities along with reduced or waived applications fees;
  • Deferral of principal payments across multiple product options;
  • Waiving costs and charges for withdrawing term deposits early giving customers quick access to cashflow;
  • Credit card and personal loan relief;
  • Professional wellbeing support.

Consumer customers 

  • Providing a temporary reduced payment arrangement;
  • Giving a temporary payment break;
  • Where appropriate, restructuring a home loan or consolidating debt to suit different situations;
  • Wellbeing and financial counselling support. 

ANZ

ANZ has also announced an extended support package for small business and home loan customers affected by the latest COVID-19 lockdown in New South Wales.

While not providing media a list of all the ways the bank will help,  ANZ has announced it is extending support for retail customers who apply with measures including short-term payment relief, waiving fees, restructuring home loan debt or switching to a fixed rate loan. 

Business customers can also access short-term payment relief on asset finance or business loans, receive a refund on merchant terminal fees and have some other fees waived. 

ANZ’s Group Executive Australia Retail and Commercial Banking, Mark Hand said the bank knows this lockdown will have a big impact on our customers in and around Sydney.

"Like the lockdowns we’ve seen in other states, we know it can be some time before the real effects are felt by families and businesses.

“We want our customers to know there is help available if they need it in this difficult time. Our teams are standing ready to assist and will work with customers to understand their specific needs and help tailor individual solutions,” Mr Hand concluded.

The bank urged customers who need further details to visit their website. 

Big 4 banks offer support for customers impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns
Big four banks
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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