Majors detail their COVID-19 support packages

by Madison Utley23 Mar 2020

Just one major bank cut its variable home loan rates following the Reserve Bank of Australia’s emergency cash rate cut of 0.25% announced last Thursday, despite public expectation all four would feel pressured to pass the savings through to customers. 

Effective March 27, ANZ will decrease its variable interest home loan rates by 0.15%. 

However, while the other majors didn’t opt to reduce their variable home loan rates, each has announced significant COVID-19 support packages which provide for small business and home loan customers alike. 

CBA detailed its package Thursday, while the remaining three announced theirs just before the weekend.  

 

Westpac

“This is a once in a lifetime event and a united response by government, regulators and corporate Australia is exactly what we need,” said Westpac Group acting CEO, Peter King. 

As such, Westpac will introduce the following changes:

  • Overdrafts will be reduced by 200bps for new and existing small business customers, effective 6 April 
  • Small business customers with cash flow issues can defer P&I repayments of business term loans for six months
  • 100bps reduction to variable interest rates on small business cash-based loans, effective 6 April 
  • A 2.29% p.a. fixed rate home loan for 1-, 2- and 3-years for owner occupied customers on P&I repayments with a Premier Advantage Package, effective 27 March
  • Special 12-month term deposit of 1.7% p.a. to provide customers a higher return on their savings, an increase of 70bps (up to $500,000 per customer); for Australians aged 65 years and over the rate will be 2% p.a. for eight months (up to $500,000 per customer), effective 27 March 

Westpac also announced a $10bn home lending fund to support the economy by assisting more Australians into home ownership.

Further, customers who have lost their jobs or sustained a reduction in income as a result of COVID-19 are eligible for a three-month deferral on their home loan mortgage repayments, with extension for a further three months available after review.

NAB

NAB also announced a pause on loan repayments for up to six months for both its business and home loan customers. 

NAB business customers will be able to:

  • Defer P&I for up to six months on a range of business and equipment finance loans
  • Receive a 200bps rate cut on new loans and all overdrafts on QuickBiz, effective March 30
  • Receive a further 100bps reduction on variable rates for small business loans, effective March 30
  • Access up to $65bn of additional secured limits to pre-assessed customers, with $7bn currently available for fast assessment process
  • Defer business credit card repayments

“One third of Australia’s small to medium businesses bank with NAB and we are going to be there for them,” said NAB CEO Ross McEwan.

NAB personal customers will be able to:

  • Pause home loan repayments for up to six months
  • Access a 10-month term deposit rate of 1.75% p.a. for 10 months, effective March 24
  • Access fixed home loan rates of 2.39% p.a. for 1-year, 2.29% p.a. for 2- and 3-year, and 2.79% p.a. for 5-year (owner-occupier P&I), effective March 25
  • First home buyers will have access to a rate of 2.19% p.a., fixed for two years
  • Access over $20bn in redraw and more than $30bn in offset
  • Reduce repayments on variable rate loans

According to the bank, most customers have not yet taken the option to reduce their payments as, over the past 12 months, reductions of 84bps to owner-occupier variable rates have provide a potential benefit of $3,360 per year to customers with a $400,000 loan.

ANZ

For home loan customers, the bank will:

  • Decrease variable interest home loan rates by 0.15%pa, effective 27 March 
  • Introduce a two-year fixed rate of 2.19%pa for owner occupiers paying P&I, its lowest fixed-rate home loan on-record
  • Allow customers to request a repayment deferral for up to six-months, with a review at three-months, with interest capitalised

“Our decision to reduce variable home loan and small business rates is the right thing to do for our existing customers, particularly the significant number of our home loan customers who are self-employed and managing the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on their own businesses,” said ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott. 

For small businesses customers, ANZ will:

  • Decrease variable interest rates by 0.25%pa, effective 27 March 
  • Enable impacted customers to request a six-month payment deferral on loan repayments for term loans, with interest capitalised
  • Make available temporary increases in overdraft facilities for 12 months
  • Institute a reduction by 0.80%pa to a new two and three-year fixed rate of 2.59%pa for secured small business loans up to $1m, effective 3 April 2020