Between March and September, 95,000 of the bank’s customers were granted a reprieve
ANZ’s (Australia and New Zealand Banking Group) profit has plunged by 42 per cent as one-in-ten home borrowers deferred their mortgage repayments to cope with the coronavirus recession.
At the height of the economic crisis, Australia’s fourth biggest bank has revealed 95,000 out of its one million-plus customers were granted a reprieve of up to six months, between March and September.
This was when those with a mortgage asked to make their repayments at a later date as they were struggling financially, with thousands out of work during the pandemic.
As of October 15, 43,450 borrowers had resumed making full repayments following the end of their six-month deferrals. Other borrowers are still putting off repayments as part of an arrangement with their bank made later in the year.
Another 11,000 have requested an extension of their mortgage holiday, leaving 500 who needed to restructure their loan or get financial help.
With Australia’s big banks extending mortgage repayment holidays until March 2021, ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said next year could be even more challenging.
That may yet come and more likely to have real impacts in 2021, he said.
In the year to September 30, ANZ’s cash profit for continuing operations plummeted by 42 per cent to £2.91billion ($3.79billion).
This included a £2.11billion ($2.74billion) impairment as a result of COVID-19.
Mr Elliott said the coronavirus shutdowns had so far only flattened ANZ’s revenue in the latest fiscal year, a better result than some financial forecasters had predicted.
I mean I think from the bank’s position we have to remember that while COVID is having a massive impact on people’s lives and the economy, actually at the bank that doesn’t really come through in the result for 2020, he said. So if we look through our underlying business, actually our revenue was flat year-on-year.
Mr Elliott said setting aside ‘a massive amount of money’ to ‘protect the bank from the potential for any future credit losses’ was the ‘real COVID impact’.
That may come if people really did get themselves into difficulty in the future, he said.
Mortgage repayment deferrals are not classified as missed payments so they won’t affect a borrower’s credit score, which lenders use to approve loans.
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