19 September 2018
Australia’s fresh fruit farmers, including strawberry farmers, affected by the ‘fruit sabotage’ issue are being urged to contact their bank to access the assistance on offer which can include deferred loan payments, waiving fees and restructuring loans.
The assistance is on offer to all farmers affected, including any who may be caught up if the issue spread to other fruits.
Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said that banks were always ready to help local producers affected by these kinds of issues and urged any farmer who needed assistance from their bank to contact them directly.
“Banks have years of experience in assisting rural producers through disasters and are ready once again to stand shoulder to shoulder with our farmers who need help,” Ms Bligh said.
“This terrible incident of sabotaging fruit has shocked the country and is already taking its toll on our fruit farmers.
“Australian Banks are ready and willing to help any producer affected by this spate of fruit sabotage, therefore anyone affected should contact their bank for assistance.
“Banks have specific hardship teams which specialise in this area, contactable through the main switchboard, who can walk customers through what can be done to see farmers through this difficult time,” she said.
ABA Member banks offer a range of services to help customers experiencing circumstances outside their control.
The type of assistance offered will depend on individual circumstances, but may include:
- A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
- Waiving fees and charges
- Interest free periods or no interest rate increases
- Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.
To contact your bank regarding hardship call the service phone number or log onto your internet banking website.
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.