ASB strengthens support measures to help more businesses

ASB has further increased its range of support measures for Kiwi business customers impacted by the economic effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19), by participating in the Government's Business Finance Guarantee Scheme. 

ASB's eligible business customers will have access to new lending, which complements and builds on ASB's current COVID-19 business package. These business measures are in addition to the mortgage repayment deferrals announced last week.

The Government's Business Finance Guarantee Scheme applies to business customers with an annual turnover of between $250,000 and $80 million. Each qualifying customer will be able to access new lending of up to a maximum of $500,000 either as a three-year term loan or a three-year revolving loan facility.  The Scheme does not apply to Agriculture or Property Development and Property Investment but does apply to Horticulture, Viticulture, Aquaculture and services to Agriculture.

ASB Chief Executive Vittoria Shortt says the financial stability of ASB business customers is top of mind for the Bank, and she's confident expanding ASB's suite of support will help them deal with the impact COVID-19 is having on their businesses.

"Businesses, no matter the size, are doing it tough. Our business customers are anxious for themselves, their families and for their staff. 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.

"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 them long term. There will be some tough conversations ahead but that is our job as responsible lenders," says Ms Shortt.

ASB expects the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme will enable it to lend close to $1 billion to eligible customers, in addition to the measures ASB has already announced

."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," says Ms Shortt.

More information can be found at asb.co.nz/covid-19

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