Banks pledge to help locked down customers

Hannah RyanAAP
Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh says those hit by lockdown can defer paying mortgages.
Camera IconAustralian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh says those hit by lockdown can defer paying mortgages. Credit: AAP

Small businesses and Australians with home loans who are struggling through COVID-19 lockdowns can count on their banks to help them, says the Australian Banking Association.

A new national support package will be available to all small businesses and home loan customers who are significantly impacted by current lockdowns or recovery from recent lockdowns, the peak body announced on Thursday evening.

Customers will be able to seek deferrals of their mortgage repayments on a month by month basis.

Small businesses with loans in good standing will be able to delay loan repayments by up to three months.

Banks are also promising to refund merchant terminal fees for up to three months.

The package must be given the green light by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said that recent lockdowns have taken their toll on customers.

“Customers can rest assured that if they need help, they will get it. Your bank will help you find a way through, don’t tough it out on your own,” Ms Bligh said.

“Banks also stand ready to support larger businesses and they will be assessed on a case by case basis.

“Customers who need support should contact their bank.”

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