More than 57,000 customers have received hardship support during the recent lockdowns, according to the Australian Banking Association (ABA), up from around 20,000 last month.

These numbers represent more than 30,000 home and business loan deferrals, as well as deferred credit card payments and waived fees and charges.

Specifically, home loan deferrals are up from 14,500 last month to 27,000 this month. Within the same period, business loans have gone from 600 to 3,500.

Majority of hardship assistance coming from NSW

NSW customers made up more than half (57%) of all recent hardship assistance provided.

Additionally, NSW residents made up for 69% of mortgage deferrals and 72% of business loan deferrals.

Anna Bligh, ABA CEO, said that despite the majority of hardship approvals coming from NSW and Victoria, customers everywhere are reminded not to go it alone.

"As lockdowns continue to be extended across cities and states, it is no surprise more strain is being put on people and businesses but it is important to remember that banks are here to help" Ms Bligh said.

The table below shows the number of COVID-19 hardship and deferred loans across Australia from 8 July 2021 to 5 September 2021.

ABASTATS.jpg

Source: ABA

Significantly below peak assistance last year

Despite the rise in deferrals over the past few months, this is well below the peak of hardship last year, when one in ten residential mortgages had been deferred representing $195 billion.

Home loans still continue to be the most common type of loan deferral, making up more than 88% of all deferrals.

Ms Bligh urged people who are feeling the strain to put their hand up for assistance.

"The sooner you talk to your bank, the sooner they can help you find a solution that is right for you," Ms Bligh said.

"Support is available to all small businesses and home loan customers significantly impacted by current lockdowns or recovering from recent lockdowns, no matter where they live or their line of work."


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