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Banks on standby to support flood impacted communities as clean-up continues

<strong>Banks on standby to support flood impacted communities as clean-up continues</strong>

14 February 2023

As many Queenslanders continue to face the after-effects of a string of major weather events, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) has today reinforced that banks have teams on standby to help those in need.

Recently residents in parts of Queensland have been impacted by significant rain and flooding, with homes, businesses and property damaged, and lives severely impacted.

Our message to those experiencing these challenging times is ‘don’t tough it out on your own’. Call your bank if you are in financial difficulty, they are ready to help.

ABA CEO, Anna Bligh

ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said banks have dedicated hardship teams on hand and encouraged those who are struggling to make contact. “For many in flood-hit communities, the arduous recovery process continues,” Ms Bligh said.

“The hardship teams are dedicated groups within banks who work closely with families who have experienced floods and other difficult situations. They have a range of very practical measures to support people to get through these experiences.”

“Our message to those experiencing these challenging times is ‘don’t tough it out on your own’. Call your bank if you are in financial difficulty, they are ready to help.”

Depending on individual circumstances, ABA member banks offer customers:

  • A deferral of scheduled loan repayments, on home, personal and some business loans for up to three months
  • Waiving of fees and charges, including for early access to term deposits
  • Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable
  • Restructuring existing loans free of the usual establishment fees
  • Offering additional finance to help cover cash flow shortages
  • Deferring upcoming credit card payments
  • Emergency credit limit increases.

“Remember, banks will never call and ask people to transfer funds to another account over the phone, and customers should never provide banking information or passwords over the phone.”

ABA CEO, Anna Bligh

The ABA has also warned flood victims to be alert for scammers following reports of fraudulent activity targeting those in some weather impacted regions.

“Many Australians are facing head on the full force of nature and changing weather systems and if that isn’t difficult enough, there have been reports of increased activity by scammers in some flood impacted regions,” Ms Bligh said.

“Remember, banks will never call and ask people to transfer funds to another account over the phone, and customers should never provide banking information or passwords over the phone.

“Avoid clicking on suspicious emails, links or texts, don’t give money or personal information to anyone if unsure – and immediately report any suspicious activity to your bank.”

Talk to your bank if you’ve been impacted by floods

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