The number of customers contacting their bank has increased by 20% since New Zealand entered the Covid Alert Level 4 lockdown on August 17.
“During the first week of the lockdown, banks saw little contact with customers due to Covid restrictions. Since then, calls have increased by an average of 20 percent. We attribute this increase primarily to people in uncertain circumstances, ”said Roger Beaumont, CEO of the New Zealand Bankers Association.
“While it is true that some people are experiencing financial hardship due to the current lockdown, we don’t see the same demand for help we saw during the first lockdown in March of last year.
“Last year, under the loan repayment deferral program agreed with the government, the Reserve Bank and credit rating agencies, approximately $ 70 billion in loans to households and businesses had repayments. fully deferred or reduced for up to six months. We do not see the need to reinstate the scheme at this stage, but postponing or reducing reimbursements remains a potential option for people in difficulty, on a case-by-case basis.
“Anyone experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the current foreclosure should contact their bank to discuss how they can help. Banks can offer a range of options to customers facing difficulties, depending on their circumstances. ”
Banks could help:
Temporary suspension of loan principal and interest repayments
Reduce or suspend loan principal payments and temporarily switch to interest-only repayments
Help with loan restructuring, for example by extending the loan term
Consolidate loans to facilitate repayments
Provide access to short-term funding
Referral of individual clients to budgeting services.
“The sooner you contact your bank, the better able they are to help you.
“It’s worth checking your bank’s website to find the best way to contact them right now. ”
© Scoop Media