News Coronavirus Banks ready ‘support packages’ for locked-down Sydneysiders

Banks ready ‘support packages’ for locked-down Sydneysiders

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The major banks have announced measures for workers and businesses impacted by Sydney’s two-week city-wide coronavirus lockdown.

ANZ on Sunday unveiled an extended support package for small business and home loan customers, offering short-term payment relief on asset finance or business loans, refunds on merchant terminal fees and the waiving of other fees.

Commonwealth Bank has announced loan deferrals, fee refunds and fee waivers. NAB assured eligible retail customers they could access temporary reduced payment arrangements. Westpac also outlined support measures for customers in need of financial assistance, including reduced or deferred repayments and low interest rate loans.

It is the city’s first lockdown without the JobKeeper program in place and comes in the final week of end-of-financial-year sales.

Up to $750 million of “carnage” could be inflicted on retailers alone, the National Retail Association said, while the Accommodation Association says the move has sent occupancy rates plummeting.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Business NSW and the Committee for Sydney are among those calling for support to quickly be made available.

$2 billion wallop

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian assured help was on the way for workers and businesses when she announced the lockdown on Saturday afternoon.

“Nobody should feel stressed or pressured to break any of the rules because of their financial situation,” the premier said.

AMP Capital economists have estimated the state will take a $2 billion hit to economic activity during the lockdown as the restricted area covers about 6.6 million people generating around 25 per cent of the nation’s GDP.

The Premier reminded people the federal government COVID-19 disaster payment of $500 will kick in on July 1 for anyone in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra areas who has lost at least 20 hours or more of work.

For workers who have lost less than 20 hours of work the weekly lump sum payment is $325.