Less than 1 per cent of loans that were deferred during the pandemic remained deferred at the end of March, with housing loans accounting for a larger portion of deferred loans, data showed.
Figures provided by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) has shown that only 4,569 loans remained on repayment deferrals across the four major banks and Suncorp as at 31 March.
A total of 3,170 home loans remained deferred to this date (0.7 per cent of deferred housing loans) while 508 small-business loans remained paused (0.2 per cent of deferred business loans), the ABA data showed.
As at 31 March (which marked the end of the temporary loan repayment deferral facility introduced to customers to weather the financial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis) only 0.5 per cent of loans which were deferred during the pandemic remained deferred, accounting for 0.03 per cent of all credit facilities.
A total of 0.03 per cent of all small-business loans and 0.07 per cent of all housing loans remain on deferrals, the ABA said.
This is down from a peak of 18.5 per cent of small-business loans and 11.5 per cent of housing loans on repayment deferrals in June 2020, the data showed.
The ABA said that a total of 854,606 repayment deferrals were requested to date across the four major banks and Suncorp, including 468,786 housing loans and 235,440 small-business loans.
Victoria leads on deferrals
Across the states and territories, Victoria had the highest proportion of both small-business loans and mortgages remaining deferred as at 31 March across the four major banks relative to other states and territories as it endured two lockdown periods to curtail two waves of the coronavirus.
A total of 0.12 per cent of small-business loans remained deferred by value in Victoria, compared with 0.07 per cent nationally, 0.07 per cent in NSW, 0.05 per cent in the ACT, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, and 0.04 per cent in Western Australia and Tasmania.
This is a substantial decrease from the peak in June 2020, when deferred small-business loans comprised 18.3 per cent nationally, 21.1 per cent of all small-business loans in the Northern Territory, followed by Tasmania (20.4 per cent), Queensland (19.5 per cent), Victoria (19.0 per cent), NSW (18.1 per cent), ACT (17.3 per cent), Western Australia (16.6 per cent) and South Australia (16.0 per cent).
A total of 0.12 per cent of housing loans remained deferred in Victoria across the four major banks, compared with 0.1 per cent nationally and in NSW, 0.08 per cent in Western Australia, 0.07 per cent in the Northern Territory, 0.06 per cent in Queensland and the ACT, 0.05 per cent in South Australia, and 0.04 per cent in Tasmania.
This compares to a national peak of 11.5 per cent of mortgage repayments remaining in deferral in June 2020, followed by 11.9 per cent in the Northern Territory, Victoria and Queensland, 11.8 per cent in NSW, 11.6 per cent in Western Australia, 9.3 per cent in South Australia, 8.0 per cent in Tasmania and 6.3 per cent in the ACT.
The ABA noted that while the large-scale deferral program has drawn to a close, banks are continuing to provide "tailored" support through various measures, including further deferrals and payment restructuring.
Commenting on the figures, ABA CEO Anna Bligh said: "These figures reflect the impressive recovery Australia's economy is experiencing after facing a one in 100-year pandemic. The fact that unemployment is lower than expected and the economy has rebounded faster than we anticipated is great news for the vast majority of home owners and small businesses.
"Banks will continue to support those households and businesses still doing it tough this year, taking a fair and compassionate approach to get people through the pandemic."