Big Banks Offer Australians Support During the Latest Lockdowns
Published 2:38 am 21 Jul 2021
The Australian Banking Association has rolled out support measures for Australians struggling with the latest COVID-19 lockdowns.
Victoria‘s lockdowns have just been extended for a week after 13 new local cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 were reported on Monday in the state.
South Australia will also go into lockdown at 6 pm tonight following the discovery of a positive case of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and New South Wales has recorded 110 new cases of COVID-19 today with lockdowns set to remain until the 30th of July at the earliest.
Additionally, consistently high cases of COVID-19 in New South Wales pushed the NSW Government to implement a ban on construction in the state, which is estimated to cost NSW between $800 million – $1 billion per week.
Both Victoria and New South Wales have implemented ongoing COVID-19 relief packages for individuals affected by the lockdowns, including $600 a week for individuals who are unable to work and $375 for those who work fewer than 20 hours per week. Furthermore, there are business grants available for those affected by lockdown restrictions in Victoria and NSW, in which businesses may be eligible for one-off or recurring payments depending on their circumstances.
Individuals across the country may also be eligible for a payment if they get a COVID test and are required to isolate afterwards.
For federal government COVID-19 relief, see here.
The Banks are Lending a Hand
In addition to federal and state government support, the Australian Banking Association (ABA), composed of the country’s biggest banks, announced various support measures designed to assist those struggling financially with the lockdowns.
The relief includes repayment deferrals of up to three months for small businesses that have a turnover of less than $5 million and that are less than $3 million in debt.
Additionally, both individuals and businesses can request payment deferrals on their home loans, which would be assessed on a monthly basis by the bank.
We welcome the support measures the banks have announced to help businesses and homeowners affected by the NSW lockdowns.
— Dom Perrottet (@Dom_Perrottet) July 8, 2021
Speaking on the ABA’s support measures, the NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet Tweeted:
“We welcome the support measures the banks have announced to help businesses and homeowners affected by the NSW lockdowns.”
The CEO of the Australian Banking Association, Anna Bligh also spoke on the association’s decision, stating that “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.”
“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,” said Ms Bligh.
CBA offers moratorium on foreclosures
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia also announced yesterday that it would be implementing measures in order to help Australians that are struggling with the pandemic, including a moratorium on any home foreclosures until February 2022 if customers are unable to make their home loan repayments.
Commbank’s CEO Matt Comyn said yesterday that “extending our freeze on any foreclosures will give those customers who are again impacted by COVID-19 more time to get back on their feet, and reassurance that they can remain in their home this Christmas and into next year.”
The conditions surrounding the moratorium are as follows:
“The moratorium will allow Owner Occupier customers who have made their home loan repayments on time for at least 12 months prior to their deferral, but are again unable to make their full repayments, to remain in their home until at least February 2022.”
The freeze on foreclosures was scheduled to end in September this year but will be extended for five months in light of the renewed lockdowns across the nation.
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