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Lockdown support: Here is what the Big 4 banks will give you

·7-min read
Logos of the big four banks and Australian money.
Logos of the big four banks and Australian money.

As the new Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads across NSW and the rest of the country, the Big Four banks have stepped up to extend support to those who are impacted.

Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ have all announced relief measures available to customers who have been plunged into another lockdown.

This comes after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said residents impacted by the lockdowns shouldn't “feel stressed” about the financial ramifications of the lockdown.

“In the next few days, we'll be announcing support to businesses and also the Federal Government support to households kicks in at a certain time, and obviously, that will kick in,” Berejiklian said.

Here is what each bank is offering to help, and how to access it.

Commonwealth Bank

If you bank with CBA there are a number of options open to you depending on whether you are a consumer customer or a business customer.

If you’re a personal banking customer

If you do your personal banking with CBA the bank is offering short term repayment deferrals in addition to it’s COVID hardship support package.

This includes:

  • 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

  • Using money in your Everyday Offset (if available to you).

Additionally, CBA said it has also introduced a freeze on forced sales until September 2021 for eligible customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who are struggling with repayments.

If you’re a business customer

For small and medium businesses customers who are impacted by the current lockdown, the bank has these measures available to customers:

  • 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

  • CBA loans provided through the Federal Government-backed SME Loan Recovery Scheme.

How to access CBA support

CBA has a designated COVID support page with links to all available help. You can also call 13 30 95.

Any businesses that need support, especially those in Sydney, are encouraged to call 1800 314 695 or reach out to their dedicated CommBank Relationship Manager.

“We have been able to provide a lot of support for our New South Wales customers over the past year and a half through COVID and we are here to help anyone who needs support during this latest difficult time,” CBA CEO Matt Comyn said.

“We would encourage anyone who banks with us and are facing difficulties to get in touch with us. This is a time for us to come together again and support our customers.”

ANZ Bank

If you bank with ANZ there are a number of assistance packages available to you if you have been impacted by the recent lockdowns.

If you’re a personal banking customer

As Sydney enters a period of tougher restrictions, ANZ is extending support for retail customers who apply with measures including:

  • short-term payment relief

  • waiving fees

  • restructuring home loan debt

  • switching to a fixed rate loan.

If you’re a business owner

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.

In addition, business customers can take advantage of loans provided through the Federal Government’s SME Loan Recovery Scheme, which offers eligible businesses discounted interest rates on loans of up to $5 million.

How to access ANZ support

You can apply for financial assistance from ANZ by visiting the bank’s financial support page where there are links you can follow depending on the help you need.

“We know 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,”ANZ’s Group Executive Australia Retail and Commercial Banking, Mark Hand said.

“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.”

Westpac

Customers in need of financial assistance can access Westpac’ support team who will tailor assistance to suit your circumstances.

If you’re a personal banking customer

If you do your personal banking with Westpac, there are a number of support measures available to you, including:

  • 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.

If you’re a business owner

The available measures Westpac has put in place to help you include:

  • 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.

How to access Westpac support

Support is available for Westpac Group customers including Westpac and St George.

Customers in financial difficulty should contact Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497 or St.George Assist on 1800 629 795.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for households and small business owners, and we know that some customers across New South Wales will need an extra helping hand to get through the latest restrictions,” Westpac Chief Executive Consumer & Business Banking Chris de Bruin said.

“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.”

National Australia Bank

If you do your banking with NAB you won't be left out of being able to access help whether you are a personal or business banking customer.

If you’re a personal banking customer

Support available for individual customers can include:

  • 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.

If you’re a business owner

Support available to businesses can include:

  • 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.

How to access NAB support

Any NSW business customer struggling with the impacts of COVID-19 is encouraged to call their banker. Any business or individual that needs help can also call NAB Assist on 1800 701 599.

NAB Group Executive for Business & Private Bank, 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,” Irvine said.

“Australians have shown how resilient they are right throughout this pandemic and together we will continue to get through this.”

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