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Banks stand ready to support cyclone-impacted communities in Far North Queensland 

Banks stand ready to support cyclone-impacted communities in Far North Queensland 

18 December 2023

Today the Australian Banking Association has told Queenslanders impacted by major flooding as a result of cyclone Jasper that banks have teams on standby to help those in need. 

“The ABA urges anyone in need of financial assistance to reach out to their bank, and to do so as early as possible. Dedicated hardship teams are on standby and ready to help,” ABA CEO Anna Bligh said.  

Ms Bligh said hardship teams are highly experienced at working closely with people who have been impacted by crisis including floods and other disasters.  

“Banks have a range of very practical tools in their tool kits to support people through tough times,” Ms Bligh said. 

Depending on individual circumstances, banks can assist by: 

  • deferring upcoming credit card payments 
  • providing emergency credit limit increases 
  • restructuring existing loans  
  • offering additional finance to help cover cash flow shortages 
  • deferring scheduled loan repayments 

“There may be some impacts to banking services in the affected areas including possible branch closures and the best way to stay up to date is to check your banks website and social media channels. The fastest way to get in touch with your bank is to visit the ABA website and locate the emergency contact team numbers.” said Ms Bligh. 

The ABA has also warned flood victims to be alert for scammers, who often target victims of natural disasters. 

“Scammers have been known to take advantage of people impacted by natural disasters – making a difficult situation even worse,” 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.” 

Ms Bligh also warned people to look out for fake fundraising sites. 

“Unfortunately, unscrupulous criminals will exploit the generosity of people trying to help those impacted by a natural disaster,” said Ms Bligh.  

People can make sure their donation is going to a legitimate charity by phoning them directly or making a donation direct to their website. Credentials can be verified on the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) website

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