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The Australian Banking Association
Dear <<First Name>>,

How banks can help during COVID-19

Watch ABA CEO Anna Bligh explain how banks can help during these difficult times.

COVID-19 Response

The highest priority for the ABA over the last three months of 2020 has been leading an industry response to COVID-19 to help impacted businesses and customers. 

The banking industry has launched a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 crisis, incorporating initiatives on loan deferrals and lending, people requirements and staff safety, banking accessibility and operations and electronic conveyancing and electronic mortgages. These initiatives have been supported by extensive external engagement.

Bank Help for Domestic Violence Victims

It’s now easier for people escaping domestic violence to open a bank account. If the usual identification (such as a driver’s license or birth certificate) can’t be provided, or their address has changed, other ID can now be used. 

The ABA and AUSTRAC collaborated on the rule changes after challenges were identified by the Australian Israel Chamber of Commerce (NSW). Read more.

Electronic conveyancing and electronic mortgages

The COVID-19 lockdown has highlighted century-old regulations impeding commerce, and the ABA is currently working to widen the scope of e-transactions.

The Commonwealth and some States now allow some e-signatures and e-witnessing of a broader range of documents including deeds. Electronic mortgage reform is also being sought, in line with updates to electronic conveyancing.

Policy Submissions

Recently published ABA submissions: Other submissions soon to be publicly available on our website:
  • ABA Response to Senate Inquiry into COVID-19
  • Inquiry into Future Directions for the Consumer Data Right
  • ABA Submission to Treasury Review on Enhancements to Unfair Contract Term Protections.

‘Thank You’ Campaign

Banks, like many other Australian businesses, have had to change how they interact with customers as a result of COVID-19. We want to thank those customers who do have to come to branches for their patience with the procedures put in place to keep everyone safe.

Look out for a ‘thank you’ online, in branches, on ATMs and on the radio in the coming weeks.

ABA in the media

Bank Fact

A total of 744,904 loans have now been deferred by Australian banks, worth a combined $224 billion.

Source (at May 27): ABA
Warm regards,
The ABA team.
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