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Lockdowns will cost some Aussies their homes – NAB boss

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Some Australians will lose their homes thanks to the ongoing lockdowns now affecting half the nation, National Australia Bank’s CEO says.

With lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, banks have reinstated loan repayment deferrals in an effort to aid businesses and homeowners struggling under the restrictions. But that won’t be enough to save everyone’s home, NAB CEO Ross McEwan admitted.

“There will be some situations where [for] customers, it’s the best thing for them to do to put the house on the market if they themselves don’t see themselves getting back into employment for a long period of time,” McEwan told ABC.

NAB has not had to foreclose on any properties during the last 14 months, according to a Yahoo Finance report.

“Our intention is to keep homeowners in their homes as much as we possibly can and work with them, and we want to get people through this,” McEwan told ABC. “This is not their fault.”

As lockdowns are extended in both NSW and Victoria, NAB has seen a 40% spike in the volume of customers asking for assistance, with their biggest worries being mortgage repayments, Yahoo Finance reported.

“Let’s be quite clear: this hurts,” McEwan said. “That’s why we want people to call us early so that we can intervene with them and put in place some sort of arrangements.”

Read next: Latest lockdown restrictions to have major impact

Economists have warned that the new lockdowns could trigger a “double dip” recession. However, McEwan said he didn’t think the economic doldrums would last long.

“We certainly look like we will be going back into negative territory, but what we have seen after each of those lockdowns, the opening up does bring economic activity back very, very quickly,” he told ABC.

Ryan SmithRyan Smith is currently an executive editor at Key Media, where he started as a journalist in 2013. He has since he worked his way up to managing editor and is now an executive editor. He edits content for several B2B publications across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He also writes feature content for trade publications for the insurance and mortgage industries.
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