Guide to COVID-19 Relief Package

Information and services to help you if you’re affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) or looking for more details, here’s a snapshot of how major banks could help ease the financial burden.

Abstract: To support people through this time of uncertainty, Australian banks are stepping up with more clearly defined financial relief packages.

All four of the big banks have committed to some measures with the most generous helping hands reaching out to their customers, each has announced significant COVID-19 support packages which provide for small business and home customers alike.

Meanwhile, smaller lenders are also offering relief for business and consumer customers.

ANZ

For home loan customers, the bank will:

      • Decreased variable interest home loan rates by 0.15% effective from 27th March, 2020
      • Introduce a two-year fixed rate of 2.19% p.a. for owner occupiers paying principal and interest, which is lowest fixed-rate home loan on-record
      • Allow customers to request a repayment deferral for up to six-months, with a review at three-months, with interest capitalised*

For small businesses customers, ANZ will:

      • A 0.25% p.a. decrease in variable interest small business loan rates effective from 27th  March, resulting in a 0.50% reduction
      • Enable impacted customers to request a six-month payment deferral on loan repayments for term loans with interest capitalised*
      • Temporary increases in overdraft facilities for 12 months
      • A 0.80% p.a. reduction to a new two and three-year fixed rate of 2.59% for secured small business loans up to $1 million, effective from 3rd April 2020

* Capitalised means the interest will be added onto loan amount instead of future repayment

Get in touch:  All customers can get onto ANZ at 13 13 14, and business customers are advised to talk to their relationship manager.

Commonwealth Bank

For home loan customers, the bank will:

      • You will be able to defer home loan repayments for up to six months
      • Interest and charges will be added to your loan balance
      • Your loan balance will be recalculated at the end of the support period
      • Your loan term will be extended so repayments stay the same as they were before you started the deferral

For business customers, Common bank will:

      • Deferring repayments and fee waivers for various products (including repayments on business loans and overdrafts for 90 days)
      • Waiving merchant terminal fees for 90 days
      • Deferring repayments on vehicle and equipment finance loans, and tailoring restructuring options
      • Waiving early redraw fees on business term deposit accounts (including Farm Management Deposit accounts)
      • Waiving establishment fees and excess interest on temporary excess products
      • Offering unsecured loan of up to $250,000 with no establishment or account fees, and no repayments for six months for business with less than $50m turnover.

Get in touch: Call the Business Financial Assistance Team on 13 26 07 or the Financial Assistance Team on 13 30 95 for other account holders.

NAB

For home loan customers, the bank will:

      • Pause home loan repayments for up to six months
      • Access a 10-month term deposit rate of 1.75% p.a. for 10 months, effective from 24th March 2020
      • Access fixed home loan rates of 2.39% p.a. for 1-year, 2.29% p.a. for 2- and 3-year, and 2.79% p.a. for 5-year (owner-occupier P&I), effective from 25th March 2020
      • First home buyers will have access to a rate of 2.19% p.a., fixed for two years
      • The option to reduce repayments or make redraws through offset accounts

For business customers, NAB will:

      • Defer P&I for up to 6 months on a range of business and equipment finance loans
      • Receive a 200bps rate cut on new loans and all overdrafts on QuickBiz, effective March 30
      • Receive a further 100bps reduction on variable rates for small business loans, effective March 30
      • Access up to $65bn of additional secured limits to pre-assessed customers, with $7bn currently available for fast assessment process
      • Defer business credit card repayments

Get in touch: They suggest business customers experiencing hardship reach out by calling 1300 769 650, while those experiencing personal financial stress ring 1300 683 106.

Westpac

      • Access to an unsecured three-year term loan up to $250,000 to all business customers with a turnover of less than $50 million (with a six-month payment-free option)
      • Small business customers with cash flow issues can defer P&I repayments of business term loans for six months
      • Fee-free redraws on loans
      • Overdrafts will be reduced by 200bps for new and existing small business customers, effective 6 April
      • 100bps reduction to variable interest rates on small business cash-based loans, effective 6 April
      • A 2.29% p.a. fixed rate home loan for 1-, 2- and 3-years for owner occupied customers on P&I repayments with a Premier Advantage Package, effective 27 March
      • Special 12-month term deposit of 1.7% p.a. to provide customers a higher return on their savings, an increase of 70bps (up to $500,000 per customer); for Australians aged 65 years and over the rate will be 2% p.a. for eight months (up to $500,000 per customer), effective 27 March

Get in touch: Check your business or personal eligibility for assistance by ringing 1800 067 497.

ING

      • Repayment deferrals of up to 6 months on commercial loans for small business customers.
      • Customers with home loans, personal loans and credit cards will be able to pause repayments for three-six months.
      • A cut of 0.35% to rates for existing commercial variable loans (under $3m), effective from 9th of April 2020.
      • Record low fixed rates of 2.09% p.a.for owner occupied home loan on a 2-year term effective 26 th of March 2020.
      • Higher term deposit rates for savers.

Get in touch: Call ING’s specialist support team on 133 464.

AMP

      • Pause on home loan repayments for clients experiencing financial pressure, for three months with the option to extend for a further three months.
      • A range of new fixed rates for existing owner occupied and investment clients, including a 2.39% p.a. fixed rate for the 2-year Professional Package owner occupier P&I product
      • Fee waivers for home loan clients in financial hardship
      • A waiver of the monthly account keeping fee for everyday and savings account holders, from 30 March 2020 until 1 October 2020
      • Access to a 1.80% p.a. term deposit rate across all available terms from 6 to 18 months

Get in touch: call AMP on 13 30 30 between 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, or 9am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday (AEST) or contact your financial adviser to find out how AMP can help.

Suncorp

      • Defer scheduled loan repayments, rearrange loans without establishment fees (perhaps moving from principal plus interest on their repayments to solely interest when income is uncertain)
      • Withdraw early from term deposits without fees.
      • Businesses will be able to do the same across various loan products and will also see a reduction in variable loan rates and small business overdraft and line of credit interest rates.
      • Interest rates increased on term deposits (six and 12 months), and lower home loan interest rates.

Get in touch: Give Suncorp a ring on 13 11 55 or have a chat with your relationship manager to see what assistance is available to you. 

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

      • Relief on repaying home loan and business loans for up to three months.
      • A waiver of fees for restructuring and consolidating loans, as well as Bendigo Bank customers getting a discounted interest rate on new loans.
      • Existing credit card holders can apply for an emergency limit increase.
      • Withdraw early from a term deposit without interest rate reduction.
      • Repayment on equipment financing will be considered for deferral or extension on a case-by-case basis.

Get in touch: Affected customers should contact their local Branch Manager, Business Banker or the Mortgage Help Centre on 1300 652 146 (or on 1300 650 259 for Adelaide Bank customers).

Bank Australia

      • Offering deferrals of scheduled loan repayments. *
      • Offer fee waivers, interest-free periods or no interest rate increases. *
      • Offer debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable. *

*all offers are on a case-by-case basis

Get in touch: Ring 132 888 to get your finances sorted with Bank of Australia if you’re struggling.

Macquarie Bank

      • Offer credit card interest rate reductions, special services for those in extreme financial situations.
      • Offer loan restructuring and reassessment for business clients.
      • Offer shield borrowers’ credit scores during the COVID-19 crisis, which means people will not be negatively affected by loan holidays or missed repayments in the future

Get in touch: Macquarie has helpfully designated contact numbers for different financial products.

These include:

      • Home loans on 1300 363 330
      • Credit cards on 1800 674 922
      • Leasing on 1300 368 908
      • Business banking through your relationship manager or on 1800 620 673

What if my bank isn’t on this list?

Not every institution will have a specific COVID-19 financial assistance package; however, most will have standard policies for providing support during financial hardship caused by illness, injury or other scenarios impacting customers’ ability to work. Firstly, check with the ABA’s financial difficulty page as it provides information, relevant contacts and links to the association’s 22 member banks. It you still couldn’t find the information you are looking for, simply contact bank’s customer assistance phone numbers and search for recent announcements about their approach to Coronavirus.

Info link: https://www.ausbanking.org.au/campaigns/financial-hardship/

Do I need to provide any kind of proof?

CBA says no evidence is required to request a deferral, although you may be asked to declare you have been impacted by coronavirus.

Westpac is currently looking at each request on a case-by-case basis rather than imposing blanket requirements.

ANZ’s stance seems to be that if you have been up to date with your repayments, you will most likely be eligible.

NAB customers wanting to defer payments will not need to provide any evidence. A pause will be applied if it’s requested.

 

Other information for Coronavirus assistance:

Early release of superannuation

From mid-April, eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

You are eligible to access your superannuation if you meet any of the following criteria:

    • You are unemployed.
    • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance.
    • On or after 1 January 2020, either
        • you were made redundant
        • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
        • your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more, if you are a sole trader.

 

Other useful resource links for individual and business economic benefits:

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Dealing-with-disasters/In-detail/Specific-disasters/COVID-19/?=redirected_covid19_call_centre

https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-support

https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/news/more-financial-support-people-affected-coronavirus

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.ato.gov.au/Newsroom/smallbusiness/General/COVID-19–information-for-small-businesses/?sbnews20200327

 

Source: Information provided from ABC news, Broker news, Mozo website, Australian Taxation Office, Australian government sites.

Disclaimer: 

This is a Guide only and is intended to provide general information. Users of this Guide are strongly encouraged to exercise caution and perform due diligence, please seek your own financial advisor to address the personal circumstances.



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