National Australia Bank says its customer support team is starting check-ins with customers on about 80,000 home loans who have received a repayment pause to help them through the impact of COVID-19.
The bank had announced in March home loan customers hit by the coronavirus crisis – which has resulted in widespread job losses and business closures – would be able to pause their repayments by up to six months.
It was due to check in with these customers after three months.
“The deferral has provided some immediate and much-needed relief but if customers are able to make payments again we will be encouraging them to do so,” NAB chief customer experience officer Rachel Slade said in a statement.
“We don’t want our customers to be in debt any longer than they need. We want our customers to choose what’s best for them.”
In the calls to customers, NAB will outline the current position of the customer’s home loan, the impact of the repayment pause on their loan balance, and discuss customers’ plans for the months ahead.
NAB said hundreds of customers had contacted the bank to reverse their home loan deferrals and resumed making payments because they felt ready to do so.
The bank is adding 500 employees, including over 400 external hires, to its customer support team as it starts checking in with the home loan customers.
NAB said the new roles meant it had added more than 1000 people to directly support customers during the crisis.
NAB has previously outlined provisions for $807 million on account of the COVID-19 related restrictions.