La Trobe holds steady through pandemic

La Trobe Financial will stay the course through the “severe economic shock” of the coronavirus outbreak and offer hardship assistance to borrowers and investors.

La Trobe has gone into the outbreak with “exceptional corporate strength”, including $10 billion in AUM group-wide, an asset origination footprint of $10 billion annually, and expects to remain “strongly profitable” through the disruption.

“We’ve built this business to deliver for all our customers, investors and borrowers, across the cycle,” La Trobe chief investment officer Chris Andrews told investors and media.

“And we see nothing in the current environment that will change either our commitment to that, or our ability to execute for these critical shareholders.”

La Trobe has also announced a coronavirus hardship package, including an up to four-month moratorium for borrowers experiencing hardship and fee waivers and debt consolidation for small business investors. Investors can also receive fee waivers for hardship-related early withdrawals.

Mr Andrews sought to reassure investors that La Trobe’s credit acceptance criteria and investment mandates are “stable and unchanged”.

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“The disciplines at La Trobe Financial are hard wired into our credit approval processes and we will maintain them throughout this coming period,” Mr Andrews said.

La Trobe sees a “severe economic shock” in the first and second quarters of the year that will bleed through into the third – counterbalanced by the “unprecedented and co-ordinated” response from governments and regulators in Australia overseas. Jobs lost to coronavirus lockdowns will also come back online relatively quickly after the disease is contained – meaning that the eventual rebound will be strong and sharp.

“It’s been a tough start to the year for Australia, for our borrowers, and for our investors,” Mr Andrews said.

“But we are proud to play our part. We’re proud to be in a position where we’re able to help. And we look forward to continuing to build on the deep reservoir of trust that we’ve established with you, and with all of our borrowers and investors.”

La Trobe holds steady through pandemic
Chris Andrews
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