Coronavirus affected customers urged to talk to their bank

The New Zealand Bankers’ Association is encouraging businesses and individuals financially affected by coronavirus (Covid-19) to talk to their bank.

“We’re aware that some businesses, particularly small to medium sized ones, are being financially impacted by this unfolding global issue. The same may apply to individual customers working in sectors directly affected. Banks can offer affected customers support,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont.

“Banks work hard with customers who find themselves in financial difficulty. It’s about doing the right thing and ensuring good customer outcomes.

“If you’re doing it tough as a result of coronavirus we strongly encourage you to talk to your bank.

“The sooner you talk to your bank, the better placed they are to help you. Good two-way communication between customers and their banks is essential to helping get through financial stress.

“Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of ways in which banks can help.”

Potential measures to assist bank customers include:

  • Reducing or suspending principal payments on loans and temporarily moving to interest-only repayments
  • Helping with restructuring business loans
  • Consolidating loans to help make repayments more manageable
  • Providing access to short-term funding
  • Referring individual customers to budgeting services.