9 July 2018
Farmers affected by the worsening drought crisis in NSW and Queensland are being urged to contact their bank to access assistance on offer which can include deferred loan payments, waiving fees and restructuring loans. The drought assistance has been readily available during the drought, already helping many customers.
The renewed call comes ahead of today’s Federal Government roundtable on drought affected communities with banks invited by Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon David Littleproud MP to participate.
CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh said that banks were ready and willing to help drought affected communities and have been rolling out assistance for to their customers in need.
“I have seen firsthand the difficulties that drought brings to our farmers and regional communities, including significant financial stress,” Ms Bligh said.
“Australian banks are ready to lend a hand to drought affected communities, particularly throughout New South Wales and Queensland, who are doing it tough.
“My message for regional communities is there’s no reason for anyone to struggle in silence, call your bank today and ask what assistance can be offered to help you through this difficult time.
“The Industry will continue to work with government to play its part in helping those affected.
“Customers are encouraged to contact their bank to discuss what hardship arrangements are available to them,” she said.
ABA member banks offer a range of services to help customers experiencing drought 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.
Customers are encouraged to contact their bank to discuss what hardship arrangements are available to them.
Contact: Rory Grant 0475 741 007
“…banks can go back to their normal processes and that is working out what’s right for every single customer, on an individual tailored basis with a proper assessment. That is the best thing for the customer.”
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.