Banks offer business loan repayment relief to small businesses as part of new package

Tom Watson

20 Mar 2020

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The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has today announced a new relief package targeting Australian small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

According to ABA CEO, Anna Bligh, the package, which is still subject to authorisation by the ACCC, will apply to over $100 billion worth of existing business loans and could put up to $8 billion back into the hands of small businesses.

“This is a multi billion dollar lifeline for small businesses when they need it most, to help keep the doors open and keep people in jobs,” Bligh said.

“Small businesses are the most vulnerable part of the economy and have the most urgent need for assistance. They employ 5 million Australians and this package is designed to help them keep doing just that.” 

So what types of assistance will be available to small businesses as part of the package? Some of the measures already outlined include:

  • - Businesses will be able to defer principal and interest repayments on their business loans for six months

  • - Fees will be waived for business loan restructuring or consolidation, as will a number of other fees and charges

  • - Interest rate reductions will be waived for businesses who need to withdraw cash from a term deposit before its maturity date

According to Bligh, banks have already begun the process of contacting their small business customers about the relief package, but she also urged customers yet to be contacted to reach out to their banks. 

RELATED: Big bank emergency support: How have CommBank, NAB, ANZ and Westpac responded to this month's cut?

Today’s announcement comes on top of the $17.6 billion stimulus package unveiled by the Federal Government earlier in the week.   

The stimulus package, which is forecasted to assist around 700,000 small and medium-sized businesses around Australia, contained a number of measures targeting SME’s including wage assistance, tax free payments and an expansion of the instant asset write-off scheme.

The Federal Government is also expected to announce a second, larger stimulus package in the coming days, though the exact measures involved are currently unknown. 

Until then, check out our wrap up on what the coronavirus stimulus package will mean for Aussie small businesses, or check out our business banking hub for all the latest news, guides and information.

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