subscribe to our newsletter

Over 15k loans deferred in lockdown: ABA

Almost 24,000 customers have accessed hardship support from banks since early July, with 64 per cent opting to defer loan repayments for up to three months, according to new data.

Figures from the Australian Banking Association (ABA) have revealed that more than 23,000 customers have received hardship assistance during recent lockdowns, including just over 15,000 repayment deferrals on home and business loans.

Since 8 July 2021, more than 14,500 home loans and 600 business loans have been deferred across Australia.

Comparatively, during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, almost 500,000 home loans and more than 225,000 business loans were deferred.

Hardship approvals and loan deferrals have been heavily skewed towards NSW residents due to the current lockdown (which is due to continue until at least the end of August and could extend further depending on vaccination rates and case numbers).


Home loan deferrals in the state have accounted for more than two-thirds of total deferrals, while almost 80 per cent of deferred business loans are also from NSW.

Data from the big four banks and Bendigo Bank showed that between 8 July and 1 August, there were over 10,400 home loan deferrals and 483 business loan deferrals in NSW.

Across the other states, Victoria had the second highest number of home loan deferrals at 2,580, but only 76 deferred business loans.

South Australia had 620 deferred home loans and 16 deferred business loans, Queensland had 501 deferred home loans and 22 deferred business loans, Western Australia had 245 deferred home loans and six deferred business loans, the ACT had 51 deferred home loans and three deferred business loans, Tasmania had 47 deferred home loans and six deferred business loans, and the Northern Territory had 30 deferred home loans and no business loans.

Growth in housing loan deferrals slowed from 344 per cent the week prior to 79 per cent last week but the growth in business loan deferrals grew from 93 per cent to 108 per cent.


The number of customers accessing hardship grew by 73 per cent last week, which is a slower rate of growth the week prior when it grew by 153 per cent, according to the ABA.

ABA CEO Anna Bligh urged customers not to “tough it out on their own” and seek assistance from their lenders.

She said: “Lockdowns continue to bite across several states, and banks are again stepping up to help.

“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.”

The major and non-major banks recently expanded on their existing COVID-19 support measures to provide home loan support including deferrals on a month-by-month basis, and business banking repayment deferrals for up to three months, with loan terms extended as required.

Business loan deferrals are applicable to business lending less than $3 million and a turnover of less than $5 million, and is only for loans in good standing (i.e. repayments up to date or engaged in a payment program with their bank).

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently extended regulatory relief for banks offering temporary financial assistance to customers impacted by lockdowns, stating that banks will not need to treat the deferral period as an arrears period of a loan restructuring.

[Related: APRA consults on COVID-19 loan support approach]

Over 15k loans deferred in lockdown: ABA
Over 15k loans deferred in lockdown: ABA

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

The chief of Australia’s largest bank has said lenders should act pre-emptively and shift their floor rates for mortgage serviceability am...

Total household wealth reached a high of $13.4 trillion in the June quarter, primarily due to rising property prices, according to the Aust...

The property exchange settlement platform has been granted approval to establish an Electronic Lodgement Network in the ACT.  ...

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.