The higher-than-expected take-up of repayment relief from borrowers comes as non-bank lender Firstmac revealed just over 5 per cent of mortgage holders in its $12.8bn loan book had applied for hardship arrangements.

Firstmac managing director Kim Cannon said the hardship numbers were less than the “optimistic” forecasts of 6-9 per cent, and well below the level that may result in deferred residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) coupon payments to investors.

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