Australia’s major banks have assured the Morrison government they will continue supporting customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg met with the banks on June 26 amid growing concerns about the economic impact from a suite of support measures coming to an end in September.
These include wage subsidies and extra unemployment benefits, as well as mortgage relief through six-month deferred loan repayments.
“The banks were very clear. They supported their customers on the way in to this crisis and they will be supporting their customers on the way out,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.
He said the banks are working with the regulators for an orderly transition so that those who can start making repayments do so, and those who cannot get the additional support they need.
“This is how it should be, all Australians working together to get through this crisis,” he said.
He said 20 percent of bank customers have been able to restart paying their loan repayments.
He said as restrictions ease across the economy, people are starting to get back to work, and “that’s vitally important”.
But he said some workers are still doing it very tough.
“We saw just this week the terrible news out of Qantas of 6000 people losing their jobs,” Frydenberg said.
“We are going to continue to see some sectors really struggle as the international borders remain closed … there is still some very challenging tough days ahead.”