27 Mar 2020

Westpac NZ customers affected by COVID-19 can now apply for a six-month deferral on principal and interest repayments on home loans and personal loans.

Westpac NZ General Manager of Consumer Banking and Wealth, Gina Dellabarca, says repayment deferrals – sometimes known as repayment holidays - will help provide peace of mind for customers.

“Customers who were in stable jobs a month ago are now finding themselves grappling with reduced incomes and an uncertain future.

“We want people to know we’re here for them, and have a range of assistance available, including these repayment deferrals.”

Ms Dellabarca says interest will continue to accrue during the deferral period so customers should think carefully about whether they need this form of assistance, and what it will mean for their loan payments in the future, before applying.

“Our team in our contact centre is able to explain to customers how a repayment deferral works, what it will mean for their loan, and the suite of other assistance options we have available.

“Customers who have made extra payments on their loan previously may now find themselves in a position where they can reduce the amount they are paying instead of taking up the deferral option.”

Ms Dellabarca says Westpac is working on creating an online form that customers can fill out and submit electronically to apply for a repayment deferral which will be available next week.

“Customers shouldn’t be concerned about missing out if they need this support. If you don’t have a payment coming out in the next few days then we encourage you to hold off and wait for the electronic form which will provide a simple, streamlined way to get this done.”

In the meantime, customers with urgent needs should call the Westpac contact centre on 0800 606 606 or their mortgage advisor, if they have one.

Ms Dellabarca says call volumes remain high.

“Our amazing team is working hard to talk to each customer. I want to assure customers that we will continue to support them and waiting until next week when call volumes are likely to reduce and the ability for customers to submit an electronic application will be helpful.

“I’d like to thank customers for their patience. We know we are an essential service and I’d like to assure customers we are here to serve them and we’re confident we’ll be able to connect with far more customers once we are through the current peak.”