March 17, 2009

CBA gives out-of-work homeowners a break

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia said it would give homeowners a break if they lose their jobs, deferring interest payments for up to 12 months.

The bank said unemployment could jump from the current rate of 5.2 percent to as high as 7 percent by the end of 2010. Nevertheless, Chief Executive Officer Ralph Norris said it was not to the bank's advantage to see homeowners get into trouble, The Australian reported Tuesday.

In the case of those unfortunate to be unemployed, we will provide repayment holidays for six months, and in some circumstances up to 12 months, with interest being capitalized, Norris said.

Norris the economy could even result in CBA employees losing jobs.

But, he denied the bank had agreed to the concession through political pressure. This initiative has been under consideration since January, he said.