Several non-major lenders have announced relief measures for consumers affected by the coronavirus outbreak, which include the suspension of mortgage repayments.
Following moves from the major banks, Macquarie, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Suncorp, ME and Heritage Bank have announced support packages for customers in response to the growing economic threat posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Members of the Australian Banking Association (ABA), Macquarie, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, and Suncorp have committed to suspending small-business loan repayments for up to six months.
However, the lenders, along with ME Bank and Heritage Bank, have also announced a number of additional measures to support affected customers.
Macquarie has extended small-business loan repayment relief to all business and personal banking customers, which would include commercial loan, overdraft, home loan, car loan and credit card clients.
Further, in response to initiatives announced by the federal government and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), Macquarie has repriced its product suite to reflect the lower cost of funding.
For business clients, the changes include:
For home loan customers, Macquarie will:
Variable home loan rates will remain unchanged.
For deposit customers, changes include:
“We’re committed to supporting Australian businesses and households through what we know is an uncertain time,” Macquarie said in a statement.
“We’re reaching out to our clients to let them know we’re here to continue supporting them throughout this difficult period.”
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
In addition to providing business customers with the option to freeze their loan repayments for up to six months, Bendigo will extend its hardship arrangements to all customers affected by the virus.
The arrangements include:
“Many of our customers have already felt wide-ranging impacts from drought and bushfires, and the rapid emergence of COVID-19 has further exacerbated the need for individual assistance and a coordinated industry response,” Marnie Baker, managing director, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, said.
“It is essential we provide our customers with the dedicated and necessary support they need to manage through these uncertain times.
“We have already been actively engaging our customers and our relationship managers are standing by to work closely with them on an individual basis during this challenging period.”
Suncorp Bank has announced a number of measures for personal and business banking customers affected by the pandemic.
For personal customers, Suncorp’s relief measures include:
For business customers, Suncorp will:
Suncorp Bank CEO Lee Hatton said: “We’re keen for our customers to get as much help and support as they can from what is being offered by Suncorp Bank and the government.
“We know there are many messages of support and assistance being offered during this time – we’re here to help make this support simple and easy.”
ME Bank’s support package includes the following relief measures:
ME Bank has not reduced variable home loan rates.
ME CEO Jamie McPhee commented: “The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, and it is important for banks to work closely with people who have been impacted across the country.
“Our focus is clear: to provide support to customers when they need it most and today ME is announcing a range of measures to support both borrowers and savers.”
Heritage Bank’s support package for customers affected by the coronavirus includes: measures include:
“We’re all in uncharted territory and facing circumstances we’ve never had to deal with before,” Heritage said in a statement.
“Now, more than ever before, we are committed to demonstrating our people-first approach as we respond to these unique circumstances.”
[Related: Big banks offer mortgage repayment relief]
Charbel Kadib is the news editor on The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
Before joining the team in 2017, Charbel completed internships with public relations agency Fifty Acres, and the Department of Communications and the Arts.
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