Published in major daily newspapers, 18 and 19 April 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting us all. We understand many of you are feeling stress and anxiety and we want to assure you that we are here to support you through this time.
Our people are part of your community. We are working hard right now to ensure your payments go through, your money is safe, and you can get the support you need.
We fully support the bold actions taken by the government and the Reserve Bank so far. They have helped free up the financial system so we can focus on dealing with the crisis. They are supervising the banking system closely to make sure it is doing what it is designed to do – absorb economic shocks.
These are extraordinary times and we are stepping up to the challenge. We have many tools to help people and we are prepared to use them. These include lower interest rates and fees, deferring loan payments, and more business loans. We’ll tailor help to meet your specific needs wherever we can.
We’re especially focused on those who need help most, and will work with the Banking Ombudsman and other organisations to support people in vulnerable situations.
We’re taking on our share of the financial burden facing New Zealand. We’ve stopped paying dividends to our shareholders and are sharing the load in other ways too. We know we will be judged on how we respond when you need us.
We want to be clear about what we’re doing to support New Zealand‘s people and businesses at this time.
Since March 26th over 40,000 of our customers have reduced their repayments on loans totalling $14 billion. A similar number have deferred all repayments on loans totalling $14.5 billion. We have also provided $2.1 billion in new lending to our personal customers.
Through a special government partnership we have another $6.25 billion to lend to businesses. In addition to the government scheme we’ve also offered $5.3 billion in new lending to nearly 10,000 business customers.
We will publish regular updates of this data, plus more information as it becomes available, on the New Zealand Bankers’ Association website so you can see for yourself exactly what we are doing.
New Zealand’s banks are very strong, with liquidity and capital at levels above the minimum required, and well above those at the start of previous crises. We are determined to use that strength, not just to ensure that the financial system keeps operating efficiently through the Covid-19 crisis, but to help you, our customers, and the New Zealand economy, get through and recover from it.
Please get in touch with your bank if you need help.
He waka eke noa.
How you can help us to help you
- Don’t visit a branch unless absolutely necessary – use the website or the app
- Contact us early to discuss how your business is going
- Be extra vigilant – fraudsters are using the pandemic to prey on people.