Give more help to borrowers: APRA

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Sep-20

Repayments on more than 900,000 mortgage and business loans were deferred in late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many borrowers are now facing the six-month anniversary of their deferral, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has offered lenders a number of suggestions about how to handle customers who are slated to resume repayments. Amongst other things, APRA has suggested that lenders should contact borrowers via a number of channels in the lead-up to the expiry of their deferral period. National Australia Bank CEO Ross McEwan recently indicated that 20 per cent of these customers have failed to respond when it has contacted them regarding the issue.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Lockdown to trigger more loan distress

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 & 20 : 10-Jul-20

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that banks have deferred 18 per cent of small business loans in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Morgan Stanley has warned that that many businesses in Melbourne that have been forced to shut down for a second time may never re-open, particularly smaller ones. The APRA figures also show that more than 10 per cent of home loan repayments have been put on hold. Loans to investors account for 34 per cent of home loan repayments that have been deferred, prompting concern that there may be a surge in distressed selling.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Big banks accused of climate hypocrisy

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 8-Jul-20

Market Forces estimates that Australia’s four major banks have provided a combined $35.5bn worth of loans for fossil fuel projects since 2016. The activist group, which is affiliated with Friends of the Earth, contends that this is inconsistent with their commitment to the Paris climate agreement. National Australia Bank’s chief risk officer Shaun Dooley recently stated that the bank aims to assist business customers to transition away from fossil fuels, due to the economic impact of a complete and rapid withdrawal from the sector.

CORPORATES
MARKET FORCES, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

PM roasts banks over Covid fail

Original article by Simon Benson, Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 24-Apr-20

Australia’s four major banks will fast-track applications for bridging finance by companies that are struggling to pay their wages bills after Prime Minister Scott Morrison intervened. He has criticised the banks for taking too long to process such applications, with employers’ groups warning that some businesses have been forced to lay off employees while they wait to receive JobKeeper payments. tax commissioner Chris Jordan raised the issue with bank executives following a telephone conference with Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, COMMONWEALTH AGRICULTURAL BUREAU INTERNATIONAL, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

CBA delays all SME repayments

Original article by Max Maddison
The Australian – Page: 17 : 24-Apr-20

The Council of Small Business Organisations’ deputy chairman David Gandolfo has welcomed the Commonwealth Bank’s decision to defer loan repayments for many small business customers until the end of June. The loan deferral will automatically apply to small business accounts that have lending limits of less than $5m, although these customers can opt to continue making repayments. Business customers with loans of between $5m and $10m will be able to defer repayments for six months due to the impact of the pandemic.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Non-banks clamp down on new loans

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 6-Apr-20

Non-bank lender Pepper Australia has increased its home loan interest rates and tightened its credit criteria as it assesses the impact of the coronavirus on its operations. Pepper will stop offering construction loans and will require a bigger deposit for commercial loans, while larger deposits will also be needed for its two types of home loans. Fellow non-bank lender Bluestone has also introduced new credit criteria as well as increasing the rates on all of its loan products by 35 basis points.

CORPORATES
PEPPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, BLUESTONE GROUP PTY LTD

Business loan relief in bailout expansion

Original article by Geoff Chambers, Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 30-Mar-20

The major banks will announce on 30 March that companies with loans totalling up to $10 million will be able to defer payments for six months in order to help save jobs during the coronavirus crisis. It is understood that the federal government will expand its 50 per cent loan guarantee for to small and medium enterprises to big business, while the Australian Banking Association will build on its previously announced small business support package with additional assistance measures.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

Banks race to roll out SME loans

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 15 & 18 : 23-Mar-20

The federal government will underwrite 50 per cent of new loans made by eligible lenders to small and medium enterprises as part of its response to the coronavirus crisis. Westpac’s acting CEO Peter King says the SME Guarantee Scheme will provide "significant support" to SMEs, while he supports moves to allow people in financial hardship to access their superannuation. The rollout of the scheme in New South Wales and Victoria has been complicated by moves to lockdown non-essential services in coming days, as banks work to keep as many branches open as possible in those states.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

APRA relaxes buffers as CBA slashes rates

Original article by James Eyers, James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 & 22 : 20-Mar-20

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will temporarily ease the "unquestionably strong" equity capital buffers that it imposes on banks. This will allow them to make billions of dollars worth of additional loans to small businesses that are struggling to maintain cashflows during the coronavirus crisis. The Commonwealth Bank responded to APRA’s announcement by cutting its interest rates on small business loans by 100 basis points, while it also cut rates on one-, two- and three-year fixed-rate home loans by 70 basis points.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Westpac lifeline for virus-plagued customers

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 19 : 12-Feb-20

Westpac has revealed details of its support package for businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus. Amongst other things, it will allow business loan repayments to be deferred for up to three months, while businesses will also be able to extend their loans for up to three months. Westpac offered similar relief to bushfire victims. Businesses across the economy have been impacted by the virus outbreak, including tourism operators and fresh food exporters.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC