Support for small businesses offered by the big four banks


Anna Bligh, Managing Director of the Australian Banking Association. Source: AAP Image / Mick Tsikas.

More and more small businesses are receiving financial assistance from their banks amid ongoing lockdowns in the country’s two most populous states.

New statistics released by the Australian Banking Association show that hardship aid, including postponing credit card payments and waiving fees and charges, has nearly tripled over the past month, from 20 000 to 57,000.

Anna Bligh, chief executive of the Australian Banking Association, said that while most hardship approvals have come from New South Wales and Victoria, customers across the country have access to hardship support.

“As lockdowns continue to spread across cities and states, it’s no surprise that more pressure is placed on people and businesses, but it’s important to remember that banks are here to help. “said Bligh.

Here is an overview of the coronavirus business support measures currently offered by the Big Four banks.

Commonwealth Bank

Loan deferrals and merchant fees

The ABC offers short-term repayment deferrals to business customers if they are affected by the bottlenecks.

Businesses can also request reimbursement for merchant terminal rental fees, minimum monthly merchant service fees, monthly access fees, and simple merchant plan fees for up to 90 days.

The bank also announced last week that it would waive $ 7 million in terminal rental fees for more than 50,000 customers by Christmas for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cash flow support

CBA customers who have signed up to receive COVID-19 payments from the government and need additional cash support in the interim can apply for bridging funding.

To be able to apply for bridge financing, clients must have opened a commercial transaction account with CommBank before January 1, 2021.

SME stimulus loan program

Loans of up to $ 5 million are available for eligible SMEs until December 31, 2021.

The loans are to be used for business purposes or for the purchase of commercial property and are part of the federal government’s SME Stimulus Loan Program.

Under this program, businesses can access secured and unsecured loans to pay for business expenses or to refinance qualifying business debts. To be eligible, SMEs must have a turnover of less than $ 250 million and meet all the eligibility criteria.

National Bank of Australia

SME stimulus loan program

NAB also offers business takeover loans through the federal government’s SME Takeover Loan program.

Qualifying businesses can borrow up to $ 5 million with a secured loan, or up to $ 250,000 with an unsecured loan. Loans are offered for terms of up to 10 years and no repayment is required for 12 months, but interest continues to accrue during this period. More information on NAB Business Takeover Loans is available here.

Support for difficulties

NAB works with business clients on a case-by-case basis if they cannot make minimum monthly payments or are likely to experience financial hardship.

Ana Marinkovic, a small business executive at NAB, said the bank recognizes how difficult it is for businesses to manage their cash flow during these difficult times.

“We have thousands of bankers across Australia speaking with clients to understand the challenges individual businesses face and to provide support,” said Marinkovic. SmartCompany.


Temporary overdrafts

Small business clients of Westpac can request interest-free temporary overdrafts of up to $ 15,000 for up to 45 days to facilitate their cash flow.

Deferred loan repayments

Small business clients can also defer payments for three months on qualifying commercial loans with a total committed exposure of up to $ 3 million. Loan payments that businesses can defer include business, equipment and auto finance loans.

SME stimulus loan program

Like other banks, Westpac participates in the federal government’s SME Stimulus Loan program.

Detailed information on the loan program is available on this Westpac web page.

Transactional and merchants

Westpac does not offer its commercial customers any interest rate adjustments for early terminations of term deposits or farm management deposits.

Businesses can also request refunds on merchant terminal rental fees, minimum monthly service charges, or simple rate plan fee refunds for up to three months.

Business credit card

Westpac business credit card customers can defer monthly payments and interest charges for three months.

Shane Howel, general manager of business loans, tells SmartCompany that business customers should call Westpac if they have concerns about their finances.

“Westpac offers a range of alternatives for households and small businesses, including loan deferrals of up to three months and interest-free overdrafts for small businesses to ease their cash flow,” explains Howel.


SME stimulus loan program

Like the other big four banks, ANZ offers loans under the SME Recovery Loan Program. Businesses can borrow up to $ 5 million on loan terms of up to 10 years.

While the eligibility criteria are generally the same for all small businesses, details of ANZ’s options are available here.

Corporate banking

ANZ also encourages its business customers to contact their corporate banking manager to discuss other available help.

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