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Banks Coordinate On Relief Package For Commercial Property Landlords That Do Not Evict Tenants

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACCC has granted a second interim authorisation for the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and its banks to cooperate on a relief package for businesses and individuals.

The business relief package will see banks defer the principal and interest payments for loans by commercial property landlords where they do not terminate leases or evict tenants suffering financial hardship because of the COVID-19 crisis.

This will apply to loans of up to $10 million (larger loans will be considered by individual banks on a case-by-case basis).

Under the ACCC authorisation, participating banks will also be able to coordinate to ensure customer have access to services, including access to some counter services at a range of locations and at various times.

“We recognise the public benefit from enabling banks to respond quickly to provide relief packages to businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said. “Individual banks can still offer more favourable and tailored terms to business customers outside of this proposed agreement.”

The interim authorisation provides protection from court action, as these activities would usually raise concerns under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

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