The Main Money Measures Australia’s Announced in Virus Fight So Far


Australia’s government and policy makers are rushing to shore up the nation’s economy and financial system as the severity of the coronavirus outbreak mounts.

The Main Money Measures Australia’s Announced in Virus Fight So Far

With announcements piling up by the day, here is a guide to the measures announced so far:

For Banks:

  • Cheap money. The Reserve Bank of Australia launched a A$90 billion ($53 billion) funding facility for lenders, with extra money available for those who lend more to small businesses (Mar. 19)
  • Looser capital rules. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority says banks can dip into their capital buffers built up in recent years (Mar. 19)
  • Less new regulation. APRA says it is suspending the majority of its planned supervisory initiatives to allow the industry to focus on the crisis (Mar. 23)

For Markets:

  • Volume limits. The securities regulator has told firms to limit the number of trades executed to avoid straining infrastructure (Mar. 16)
  • Buying bonds. Australia’s central bank is buying state and federal government bonds as part of a new policy regime designed to drive down yields (Mar. 19)
  • Buying securities. The country’s funding arm is running a complementary A$15 billion program to buy asset-backed securities issued by non-bank lenders (Mar. 19)
  • Liquidity injections. The RBA has been pumping record amounts of liquidity into the short-term lending market (Mar. 18)

For Consumers:

  • Mortgage rate cuts. The big four lenders have all cut interest rates for customers with fixed mortgages, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. also reducing rates on variable loans (Mar. 20)
  • Payment holidays. At all of the big lenders, customers who get into financial difficulty will be able to pause repayments for up to six months. (Mar. 20)
  • Early pension access. People in financial stress will be allowed to withdraw A$20,000 this financial year and next from their superannuation savings. (Mar. 22)

For Small Business:

  • Repayment deferral. All the major banks have signed up to a plan to allow small businesses to defer loan payments for up to six months, which the Australian Banking Association says will put as much as A$8 billion in the pockets of proprietors. (Mar. 20)
  • Loan guarantees. For firms with revenue under A$50 million, the federal government says it will guarantee 50% of loans taken out by businesses affected by the outbreak to be used for working capital. (Mar. 22)


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