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Banks will freeze small business customers’ loan repayments for up to six months amid the coronaviru

Published: 20/03/2020

Banks will freeze small business customers’ loan repayments for up to six months amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the move could put $8 billion back in the pockets of operators.

Banks will freeze small business customers’ loan repayments for up to six months in response to the cash-flow crunch caused by the coronavirus crisis. The package, announced in Sydney this morning, applies to $100 billion of existing borrowing. Australian Banking Association boss Anna Bligh said the move could put $8 billion back in the pockets of small business. “This is a multi-billion-dollar shot in the arm for small businesses when they need it the most,” Ms Bligh said. Fast–tracked processes were being put in place and the deferrals could be available as soon as Monday. “Businesses, I know, are doing it very tough,” she said. “They can rest assured that banks have got their back.” Mortgage customers will also be supported, she said. Currently that need was not as pressing, but the situation was evolving. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told News Corp Australia the freeze was “unprecedented and a game changer”. “Many small businesses use their home as collateral and these payments will also be deferred,” Mr Frydenberg said after the announcement.
 

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