Calls for help on the rise
HARDSHIP cases are rocketing as businesses and homeowners struggle through lengthy lockdowns, setting alarm bells ringing for the nation’s economic recovery.
Assistance to under-pressure borrowers almost tripled over the past month, with 57,000 customers now having reached out to their lender for help, up from 20,000 the month prior, according to the Australian Banking Association.
Home loan deferrals close to doubled over the same period, jumping from 14,500 to more than 27,000, while deferred business loans surged from 600 in August to more than 3500 by mid-September.
The bulk of hardship and deferral cases are still coming from NSW, where residents of greater Sydney have been locked down since June.
ABA CEO Anna Bligh (inset) urged borrowers to reach out to their lender if they needed help. “Over the last month, we have seen a substantial rise in business owners putting their hand up for assistance,” she said.
It comes as the Commonwealth Bank revealed it had lent almost $2bn under the federal government’s SME recovery scheme
The scheme allows businesses to borrow up to $5m over a term of up to 10 years, with the government guaranteeing 80 per cent of the loan.
CBA shares closed up 28c at $101.58 on Tuesday.