subscribe to our newsletter

Deferrals not needed to be treated as arrears: APRA

The prudential regulator has announced regulatory relief for ADIs that are offering temporary measures to customers impacted by lockdowns.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has announced regulatory support for banks offering temporary financial assistance to borrowers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the latest round of lockdown restrictions.

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) recently announced a national support package for all small businesses and home loan customers significantly impacted by current lockdowns or recovery from recently lockdowns, regardless of geography or industry.

Support includes business banking repayment deferrals, everyday banking support, and home loan support, including deferrals on a month-by-month basis.

Since then, lenders have been offering various support measures to business and home loan customers, including interest-free temporary overdrafts to assist businesses with cash flow if revenue has reduced significantly due to lockdown, an extension of the freeze on foreclosures for customers who are unable to meet their home loan repayments, other loan deferral and repayment reduction measures.


In response, APRA is providing regulatory relief to authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI), whereby for eligible borrowers, ADIs will not need to treat the deferral period as an arrears period of a loan restructuring.

This will apply to loans that are granted a repayment deferral of up to three months before the end of August 2021.

“This will provide banks and borrowers with additional flexibility to manage the period ahead,” APRA said.

The measures will apply regardless of whether or not the borrower has previously been granted a repayment deferral due to the impact of the pandemic.

For transparency, APRA will require ADIs to publicly disclose and report the nature and terms of any repayment deferrals and the volume of loans to which they are applied.


Furthermore, ADIs must continue to provision for these loans under relevant accounting standards.

The latest regulatory relief is similar to the temporary support measures APRA announced in March 2020, with the temporary treatment ending on 31 March 2021.

Similar to 2020, eligible borrowers include where the ADI “reasonably” believes that the borrower’s ability to repay according to the original loan terms has been, or is likely to be, affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and the loan was not 90 days past due or impaired at the time a repayment deferral or restructure was provided to the borrower, APRA explained.

APRA will release an updated prudential standard in July to formalise this new treatment, similar to the approach taken in 2020.

The treatment will be formalised as part of APRA’s prudential standards through Attachment E (COVID-19 Adjustments) to Prudential Standard APS 220 Credit Quality and Reporting Standard ARS 923.2 Repayment Deferrals.

[Related: Banks welcome NSW COVID support]

Deferrals not needed to be treated as arrears: APRA
Deferrals not needed to be treated as arrears: APRA

Are you a new-to-industry broker in the process of growing your business? Then there’s some great news: The Adviser’s New Broker Academy is back in 2021 and will provide you with essential insights into cutting-edge tools, strategies and processes to fast-track to success. Don’t miss your chance to attend. To secure your FREE place, visit newbroker.com.au now!

Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

Latest News

Revolut has recruited from 86 400 and Citi for two senior additions to its local team, including a new head of lending. ...

The RBA has stated that APRA succeeded in curtailing a drop in home lending standards by implementing macro-prudential policies between 2014...

Analysis of cash rate changes has found property price growth is less dependent on low interest rates than commonly believed, according to a...

Join Australia's most informed brokers

Do you know which lenders are providing brokers and their customers with the best service?

Use this monthly data to make informed decisions about which lenders to use. Simply contribute to the survey and we'll send you the results directly to your inbox - completely free!

How long do you think it should take to discharge a mortgage?

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.