The Australian Banking Association’s (ABA) chief executive, Anna Bligh, has appealed to any Australian business that has had its operations impacted by the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus, encouraging businesses to contact their financial provider for assistance.
The first months of 2020 have caused significant difficulties to a number of Australian businesses, in light of drought and fires, with the spread of the virus bringing in a new set of challenges, according to Ms Bligh.
Businesses across industries have been affected by the outbreak, due to the Chinese travel ban and slowdown in trade activity, according to the ABA.
“Thousands of businesses have had a horror start to the year with drought, bushfires and floods,” Ms Bligh said.
“Now the coronavirus having a severe impact on both their ability to create products and also export them to markets overseas.”
According to the ABA, most financial institutions have a team dedicated to servicing customers facing hardship, particularly in light of natural disasters and unforecasted events worldwide, which the association urges affected businesses to utilise.
“Banks have hardship teams in place to walk businesses through the assistance on offer if they have been impacted by events outside of their control,” Ms Bligh said.
“Any business financially impacted by the effects of the coronavirus, such as tourism operators, growers and exporters of fresh produce and those reliant on international education should contact their bank to access the assistance on offer,” she said.
According to the association, the type of assistance offered will depend on individual circumstances, but may include:
- A deferral of scheduled loan repayments;
- Waiving fees and charges;
- Offering interest-free periods or no interest rate increases; and
- Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.
Hannah Dowling is a journalist for mortgage business, the leading source of news, opinion and strategy for professionals working in the mortgage industry.
Prior to joining the team at Mortgage Business, Hannah worked as a content producer for a podcast catering to property investors. She also spent 6 years working in the real estate sector at a local agency.
Hannah graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Media and Journalism.