5 February 2019
Customers affected by the recent floods in Queensland or bushfires in Tasmania are able to access assistance from their bank, which can include deferred loans payments, waiving fees and charges and assisting with debt consolidation.
CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh said Australia’s banks understand that these events can be devastating and stand ready to assist where possible for any customer affected by the recent natural disasters, including flooding in Queensland and bushfires in Tasmania.
“Whether it’s floods, drought, bushfires or any other times of hardship Australia’s banks stand ready to help their customers through a difficult time,” Ms Bligh said.
“Customers affected by the Queensland floods around Townsville, fires in Tasmania or other natural disasters should contact their bank to access the help available.
“Banks have dedicated hardship teams ready to assist, however it’s important that customers contact their bank directly to flag they are experiencing hardship,” she said.
ABA member banks offer a range of services to help customers who have been affected by natural disasters or other circumstances outside their control.
These can include:
• A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
• Waiving fees and charges, including break costs on early redemption of Farm Management Deposits
• Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable
• Restructuring existing loans free of the usual establishment fees
• Deferring interest payments on a case-by-case basis
• Offering additional finance to help cover cash flow shortages
• Deferring upcoming credit card payments
• Increasing emergency credit card limits
• Waiving early termination fees for customers who wish to access their term deposits.
Contact: Rory Grant 0475 741 007
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.