20 September 2019
Australians affected by the bushfires in NSW and QLD are encouraged to contact their bank to access a wide range of assistance available.
CEO of the Australian Banking Association (ABA) Anna Bligh said that banks stand ready to assist customers affected by bushfires, offering a range of services including deferred loan repayments, waiving fees and charges and restructuring of existing loans.
“I know only too well the grief and devastation that happens for many people after an event like this,” Ms Bligh said.
“Banks are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with the victims of the devastating bushfires in Queensland and New South Wales.
“Banks have hardship teams ready to assist customers affected by natural disasters such as these, offering help which can include deferring loan repayments, waiving fees and consolidating debt to make it more manageable,” she said.
ABA member banks offer a range of services to help customers affected by bushfires 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.
Small businesses affected by these bushfires are also encouraged to contact their bank to access various forms of assistance to help them through the recovery.
For more information, or to find the number for your bank’s hardship team go to www.ausbanking.org.au/doingittough.
Contact: Kelly Stevens 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.