Data released today by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) reveals more than 20,000 customers have received hardship assistance during recent lockdowns, with the majority coming from New South Wales.
Since 8 July, more than 14,500 homes loans and 600 business loans have been deferred. Comparatively, during the peak of the crisis in 2020, almost 500,000 home loans and more than 225,000 business loans were deferred.
NSW home loan deferrals account for more than two thirds of the total, while almost 80 per cent of deferred business loans are also from the state.
ABA CEO Anna Bligh says banks are reporting many calls for assistance coming from NSW businesses and families affected by the shutdown of the construction industry.
"Lockdowns continue to bite across several states, and banks are again stepping up to help," says Bligh.
"Support is available to all small businesses and home loan customers significantly impacted by current lockdowns or recovering from recent lockdowns, irrespective of geography or industry."
This week, the number of customers accessing hardship grew by 73 per cent, with the week before seeing 153 per cent growth.
Growth in housing loan deferrals slowed from 344 per cent to 79 per cent, while growth in business loans grew from 93 per cent to 108 per cent.
Almost 24,000 people since early July have accessed support measures offered by their bank, with 64 per cent of customers opting to defer their loan repayments for up to three months.
"Given the lockdown situation in South East Queensland, banks stand ready to assist customers who need help," says Bligh.
"The sooner you talk to your bank, the sooner they can help you find a solution that is right for you."
Updated at 9.50am AEST on 6 August 2021.
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