ASB joins government's business finance guarantee scheme

by Roxanne Libatique06 Apr 2020

ASB has jumped in the government’s business finance guarantee scheme to strengthen further its support measures for business customers hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scheme applies to business customers with an annual turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million. If qualified, the customer may access new lending up to $500,000 either as a three-year term loan or a three-year revolving loan facility.

ASB confirmed that the new scheme complements and builds on its current COVID-19 business package in addition to the recently announced mortgage repayment deferrals.

Vittoria Shortt, chief executive of ASB, said they are confident that the addition of the new scheme would help them address the pandemic’s impacts on their businesses.

“Businesses, no matter the size, are doing it tough. Our business customers are anxious for themselves, their families, and their staff,” Shortt said. “We recognise the urgent need for assistance, so they can focus on what matters most to them. This is about doing right by our customers and delivering immediate financial reassurance for New Zealanders.”

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ASB hopes that the new scheme would allow it to lend nearly $1 billion to eligible customers, in addition to the previously announced support measures.

“We have been supporting Kiwis for more than 170 years, and this won’t change. We have a range of support options available covering three areas: Access, Relief and Assistance to ensure we’re tailoring solutions that will best meet our customers’ financial needs now and in the future,” Shortt said.

“Doing right by our customers involves having genuine and honest conversations. We are working hard to help Kiwis get through, but the reality is for some businesses, increasing levels of debt might not be the best option for the long term. There will be some tough conversations ahead, but that is our job as responsible lenders.”

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