Big 4 Banks – response to COVID-19

Today the banking industry announced their response to help small businesses affected by COVID-19 (and they indicated that more relief will be coming for residential mortgages).

We note that NAB have also announced measures for personal customers.

Below we have summarised the initiatives announced by the Big 4 banks.  Other lenders will also be providing support packages.  Please contact your bank immediately if you need financial assistance for your business.

As always, please feel free to contact us if you want to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on your business.


The COVID-19 support measures announced on the Westpac website include:

* Fee free redraws;
* Business loan deferred repayments up to 3 months;
* Option to extend business loan terms by up to 3 months;
* Restructuring and consolidating loans;
* Access to term deposit funds without reduction in interest rate;
* Deferred payments for business credit cards;
* Business financial counselling access;
* Merchant terminal rental fee waivers for up to 3 months;
* $0 establishment fee for equipment finance loans.

Westpac has indicated that Westpac Assist may be able to help any customer experiencing financial hardship at any time.

To find out more information, please speak with your Westpac Relationship Manager or call Westpac on 1800 067 497.

Commonwealth Bank

The Commonwealth’s bank response includes:

* Reducing rates on Better Business Loans, Business Overdrafts and other products by 25 basis points, effective as at 24 March 2020;
* Deferring repayments on business loan and overdraft products, for 90 days;
* Waiving merchant terminal fees for impacted customers with CommBank merchant terminals, for 90 days;
* Waiving early redraw fees on business term deposit accounts (including Farm Management Deposit accounts);
* Waiving establishment fees and excess interest on Temporary Excess products;
* Deferring repayments on vehicle and equipment finance loans, and providing tailored restructuring options that meet individual customer needs.

If you have a Relationship Manager, they will be able to assist you at this time.  Otherwise you can contact a dedicated Business Financial Assistance team member on 13 26 07 (open 24 hours 7 days a week).

National Australia Bank

NAB business customers experiencing financial difficulty are able to:

 * Defer principal and interest for up to six months on a range of business loans, including floating and variable rates and equipment finance loans;
* Receive an interest rate cut on QuickBiz loans and overdrafts, effective March 30;
* Receive an interest rate cut on variable rates for small business loans, effective March 30;
* Access up to $65 billion of additional secured limits to pre-assessed customers, with $7 billion currently available for fast assessment process;
* Access up to $9 billion in additional limits for unsecured lending for existing customers via QuickBiz;
* Defer business credit cards repayments.

Business customers should contact their relationship banker or call the Business Banking support team on 13 10 12 for further assistance.

NAB personal customers experiencing financial difficulty are able to:

* Pause home loan repayments for up to six months, including a three-month checkpoint (for a customer with a typical home loan of $400,000, this will mean access to an additional $11,006 over six months, or $1,834 per month);
* Access fixed home loan rates of 2.39% p.a. for 1-year, 2.29% p.a. for 2- and 3-years, and 2.79% p.a. for 5-year (owner-occupied, P&I), effective March 30.  First home buyers will have access to a rate of 2.19% p.a., fixed for two years.
* Access funds in loan redraw accounts and offset accounts;
* Reduce repyaments on variable rate loans;
* Access a 10-month term deposit rate of 1.70% pa for 10 months, effective March 24.  This is for personal customers only, with deposits of $5,000 to $2 million.

Personal customers can submit a request for online support or can call 1300 683 106 if they require further assistance.


Financial support for ANZ customers includes:

* Suspending interest repayments;
* Early access to term deposits without incurring break fees;
* Access to additional credit subject to approval.

Please contact ANZ or your relationship manager if you have been affected by the financial impacts of COVID-19.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is general in nature and is not a substitute for professional advice.  Accordingly, neither TJN Accountants nor any member or employee of TJN Accountants accepts any responsibility for any loss, however caused, as a result of reliance on this general information.  We recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas.  The article is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information.  Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our consent.

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