Consumer advocate CHOICE is urging Australian banks to go further in their response to COVID-19, flagging that many Australians are still being harmed by high cost credit cards, personal loans and long term debt.
“We welcome that many banks have announced initial support packages for customers but we know they can go further. We have Australians who are now out of work but still paying over 20% interest on credit cards. The fair thing to do is acknowledge that we’re in a record low interest rate environment and ensure that all bank customers who are struggling to make repayments have access to relief” says Alan Kirkland, CEO of CHOICE.
“Banks shouldn’t forget the lessons learned from the Banking Royal Commission. They need to go further to look after their customers in these difficult times.”
CHOICE says there are five urgent actions Australia’s banks need to take right now:
CHOICE’s five urgent COVID-19 actions for banks
1) Pause debts for up to 6 months for people in financial hardship
2) Cap credit card interest at 10%
3) Waive long-term credit card debt
4) Pay Royal Commission remediation as soon as possible
5) Recommit to Royal Commission reforms
CHOICE MR 22/04.