Canberra’s housing market is showing no signs of a slowdown and customers with mortgages are not defaulting or in housing stress, according to Bendigo Bank mobile relationship managers Bryan Dacey and Peter Grady.
They attribute the absence of mortgage delinquency in Canberra to strong employment figures, but they say when COVID-19 lockdown measures came into effect, they also proactively reached out to small businesses to ensure they were aware of the options available under Bendigo Bank’s COVID-19 assistance package.
“It’s small businesses, particularly hospitality businesses, that have been in touch with our help centre,” said Mr Dacey.
“Our initial response was to proactively contact our business customers to understand the impact on their operations and to communicate the support available to them from the bank and the government. Because they were grappling with a rapidly changing environment, this proved beneficial to them.”
Every business operates under different circumstances and faces a multitude of situations. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and as such, Bendigo Bank has a range of support options available to provide customers with the best opportunity to manage the impact of COVID-19.
Bendigo Bank further expanded its pandemic support measures for Australian small and medium enterprises (SME) by introducing a three-year term loan product, following government assistance, to help businesses alleviate current and future cash flow issues.
The Bendigo Bank Business Support Loan allows eligible COVID-19 affected SMEs to access funds to cover the payment of fixed costs such as rent and staff expenses.
Available until 30 September, 2020, all Australian SMEs trading in FY2019 – including sole traders and not-for-profits – with an ABN and turnover of less than $50 million can apply for an unsecured, three-year Bendigo Bank Business Support Loan of up to $250,000.
No repayments will be required during the first six months of the loan. However, interest will be capitalised during this period. The remaining 2.5 years require principal and interest payments, with an interest rate of 4.50 per cent per annum.
Bendigo Bank has had a dedicated COVID-19 advice page for Canberra SMEs since the onset of the pandemic, which outlines all the assistance packages available. Small business operators should visit the page, speak to their relationship manager or visit their local branch for further assistance.
“Not a lot of people know about our Business Support Loans,” said Mr Grady, “We’re happy to talk to our customers about how we can help them access assistance to support their businesses.
“Further to the raft of other COVID-19 support measures we had already introduced for our customers, this initiative provided the bank with the ability to back SMEs which are struggling to access working capital to see them through this crisis.”
Bendigo Bank has also seen an emerging trend of new customers approaching alternate lenders to secure a better mortgage deal and establish a closer relationship with their financiers.
“In Canberra, we’ve received a lot of requests to refinance mortgages, which is a reflection of the current feeling in the market and our customers’ desire for personalised service,” said Mr Dacey.
“A personal relationship with your bank helps people feel more financially secure and their needs understood. We’re here, open for business, and anyone can pop into a branch and ask to see our mobile bankers, and we can meet them anywhere – onsite or offsite.”
Bendigo Bank topped the list of banks in the 2019 KPMG Customer Experience Excellence Report and in April was named by market research company Roy Morgan as one of Australia’s top 10 most trusted brands – listed at number nine – during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To chat with Bryan Dacey or Peter Grady about refinancing your mortgage, or to access COVID-19 assistance packages, call Bendigo Bank’s Curtin branch on 02 6260 5140, or call Bryan on 0435 532 740, or Peter on 0431 993 938.
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