Business Support Loan

We’re offering more than $1 billion in Business Support Loans to help our customers meet liquidity and bridging financing requirements due to disruption caused by COVID-19.

The loans are being made available as part of the Government’s Business Finance Guarantee Scheme. The scheme involves a range of participating banks and is designed to help protect jobs and support the economy.

Although Business Support Loans are 80%  government guaranteed, we are still required by Treasury to assess each lending request in accordance with our standard policies, practices and processes.

You can now register your interest for a Business Support Loan.

Register your interest

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, including information on eligibility, exclusions and terms and conditions, please see here.

Key features and requirements

  • Each eligible business or business group can apply for a single loan of up to NZ$500,000.
  • Loans are available until 30 September 2020 or when all available funds are allocated (whichever is first).
  • The purpose of the loan must be primarily to meet liquidity and bridging finance requirements to deal with disruption caused by COVID-19.
  • You cannot generally use a Business Support Loan to refinance existing debt.
  • The maximum term of a loan is 3 years.
  • The scheme is for new lending only.
  • Special variable interest rates will apply. Discounted fees and charges may also apply.
  • This is a loan. As with any other loan, you remain responsible for repaying 100% of the loan and interest.
  • We will require usual security arrangements. You may have to instruct your lawyer to assist us with these security arrangements.

For more information on the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme please visit the Government’s COVID-19 financial support website.

For an overview of how the Business Support Loan works, please click here.

Additional financial support for business customers

The Scheme is in addition to the following support options from Westpac:

  • Temporary overdrafts for business customers are available for up to 90 days. Up to $10,000 (for home loan customers) or $5,000 (for other customers).
  • Repayment relief on credit cards is available for customers who need help to manage their cash flow over this period. 
  • Early withdrawal from term investments is available for customers needing access to term deposit funds by providing 32 days’ notice. Requests can be for a full or partial withdrawal. For Term Deposits of 12 months or longer, customers can withdraw up to 20% of the original amount by providing 32 days’ notice and receive no reduced rate on the withdrawn amount.
  • 3 month repayment deferrals on Floating Business Term Loans or Floating Equipment Finance Loans (excluding FlexEquip) are available for businesses with annual turnover of less than NZ$250,000. Principal repayments and interest payments will stop for 3 months but the unpaid interest during this period will be added to the balance of your loan. Please click here to fill in an online application form.

Businesses should also talk to us about restructuring loans and access to working capital. For example, Equipment Finance allows eligible customers to restructure or extend loan terms for existing facilities, or use equipment as security to release capital back into their business.

Business customers requiring support should talk to their business manager or call us on 0800 606 606 (+64 9 375 9907 for overseas). We are experiencing high call volumes - thank you for your patience.

Other help

We’re taking other steps to help our customers who are feeling the financial impact of COVID-19:

  • We’re supporting small businesses by waiving contactless debit fees for eligible existing customers (annual card turnover of less than $500,000) until 21 September 2020.
  • We’ve waived minimum monthly merchant service fees, effective from 1 April 2020, for all businesses until the end of May. This waiver will be automatically applied. (Some related costs may continue to be charged by service providers).
  • We’ve included a checklist to help our business customers understand how their transactional banking could be impacted by the current conditions - and ways to help mitigate those risks.
  • We are temporarily increasing the PIN limit for contactless payments at retailers from $80 to $200. For more information, click here.

For important updates from the IRD visit their website, and see here for further information about Government financial assistance and links to other key agencies.

Frequently Asked Questions - Business Support Loans

Businesses must meet the following criteria (amongst others):

  • have annual turnover of up to $80,000,000
  • be a New Zealand based business
  • operate in a sector that is eligible under the scheme.

You must be an existing Westpac NZ customer to apply for a Business Support Loan.

Most business sectors are eligible under the scheme, but certain sectors are excluded, notably property development; property investment; the manufacture of tobacco; the processing of whale meat; recreational cannabis and the manufacture of firearms.

To support any loan application it is normal for us to seek certain documents to verify information we are relying upon to approve the loan. In order to ensure we are lending responsibly, the following information will be required to be able to assess your loan application, understand your position before the current COVID-19 disruption, the impact of the disruption on your business, and your plans for the future:

  • Last financial statements for the business (profit and loss and balance sheet)
  • IRD Account Summary Statements of all tax types
  • A cash flow forecast detailing income and essential expenditure (minimum 3 months)
  • A personal statement of position
  • A personal income verification if applicable (e.g. IR3 or payslip)

Banks participating in the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme are bound by the terms of the scheme as set by the Treasury. As a responsible lender, we are required to apply lending and eligibility criteria to ensure a Business Support Loan is an appropriate form of assistance. Therefore, we work with business customers to understand their position before the current COVID-19 disruption, the impact of the disruption on their business, and their plans for the future.

Yes. You can have other loans with Westpac NZ, as long as facility limits remain in place but you can only have one loan supported by the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme. When considering your application for a Business Support Loan Westpac NZ will take into account all of your borrowings.

You may not use a Business Support Loan to refinance existing debt unless that falls due for repayment prior to 30 September 2020 in accordance with its terms, or you are refinancing a short term loan made on or after 16 March 2020.

Treasury have confirmed that borrowing under the Small Business Cashflow Scheme does not prevent you borrowing a loan supported by the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme. When considering your application for a Business Support Loan Westpac NZ will take into account all of your borrowings.

Interest is payable on drawn amounts only.

The Business Support Loan is an on-call revolving credit facility available to be drawn down to your business transaction account. The loan is for a maximum time of three years and your total limit will reduce to zero over this time. Interest is calculated daily and charged monthly.

Westpac credit criteria apply, which may include the grant of security.

Please note: This is a loan. As with any other loan, you, the borrower, remain responsible for repayment of 100% of the loan and interest.

The Government is not providing a guarantee to you, the borrower. The Government guarantee instead supports the bank to lend more than we otherwise would at preferential pricing in uncertain economic conditions.

If you are unable to meet your repayment obligations:

  • The Treasury requires Westpac to first seek to recover 100% of any outstanding loan balance from you and any property given as security.
  • If Westpac cannot recover 100% of the outstanding loan balance from you and any property or asset given as security, then the Government guarantee allows Westpac to recover up to 80% of the shortfall from the Government subject to it being satisfied that Westpac has met certain due diligence requirements. 

As with any other loan, any property given as security may be repossessed if you are unable to meet your repayment obligations. You should not apply for an amount that you cannot comfortably afford to repay now and in the future.

A Business Support Loan will only be provided to meet liquidity and bridging finance requirements due to the disruption to the businesses caused by COVID-19. The loan is intended to provide for a businesses’ current and upcoming operating cash flow needs, including things like rent and staff expenses.

A Business Support Loan will not be available to fund excluded activities/sectors; capital assets or projects; distribution of dividends; or on-lending outside of the borrower’s group; or to refinance existing debt unless that falls due for repayment prior to 30 September 2020 in accordance with its terms, or you are refinancing a loan made on or after 16 March 2020 that had a term no longer than 180 days.

The maximum loan limit of NZ$500,000 applies to:

  • an individual business; or
  • a collective group of businesses where ownership is largely common and is considered by nature of security or commercial relationship to represent, for all intents and purposes, a single business.

Provision of this loan, up to the maximum NZ$500,000 limit per business, or for a collective group, is at Westpac’s discretion.

No. The rules of the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme do not allow consolidation of existing debt. Neither can it be used to refinance existing debt unless that debt falls due for repayment prior to 30 September 2020 in accordance with its terms, or you are refinancing a loan made on or after 16 March 2020 that had a term no longer than 180 days.

Yes. While the Government has given significant support to banks to allow lending under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, the scheme requires that support loan credit assessment policies generally reflect the bank’s standard policies and therefore normal loan security will apply. This means as part of your loan application we will rely on existing securities you have provided, and we may need you to grant us additional security to support the request (including a general security agreement if we do not already have one, and guarantees where applicable).

As with any other loan, any security held by us may be realised if you are unable to meet your repayment obligations. You should therefore not apply for a loan amount that you do not believe you will be able to repay.