ABA members play an active role when a natural disaster occurs to support customers in impacted communities and offer a range of services to help.
ABA natural disaster protocol
The ABA has a dedicated natural disaster response protocol in place to support customers following a natural disaster event.
The protocol is in recognition that natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity and there is a heightened focus placed on disaster resilience across government and the community.
The protocol covers:
- Better coordination to ensure a consistent, supportive and timely response by the banking industry to natural disasters when they arise
- Coordinating key messages for customers and the community for communications about banking during disasters
- Designing and collecting industry data to assist government and other stakeholders
- Improving cross-sector collaboration & customer financial resilience
- Providing advocacy to improve decisions made by policy makers and other industries
When considering the type of assistance that might be appropriate, banks will assess the situation on a case-by-case basis and consider a customer’s specific circumstances.
Examples of bank assistance include:
- deferring scheduled loan repayments, restructuring and consolidating loans
- changing limits on lines of credit (e.g. credit card)
- waiving certain fees and including break costs on early access to term deposits
- providing a moratorium on collections action.
Many of our member banks have put in place initiatives to support people and communities suffering from the impact of natural disasters, including:
- providing access to free accommodation or emergency funds
- deploying hardship banks to provide on-the-ground specialised advice
- ensuring communities have access to banking services, including deploying mobile ATMs
- providing grants or donations to not-for profit organisations and community groups, such as Australian Red Cross and volunteer services
- offering support and counselling to customers through the bank’s assistance programs
- supporting staff in affected communities by providing extended leave and expanding their organisational volunteering policies.
Bank hardship contact details
|ANZ||1800 149 549|
Insurance: 13 16 14
|Natural Disaster Support|
|AMP||1300 721 862||Financial Hardship|
|BankAust||132 888||Hardship Support|
|Bankwest||Loans: 1300 769 173 |
Credit Cards: 13 17 19
Small Business: 13 7000
|Bendigo||Mortgage Help Centre: 1800 652 146 |
Insurance: 13 24 80
|Commbank||1800 314 695||Emergency Assistance|
|ING||133 464||Disaster Relief Info|
|NAB||1800 701 599||Natural Disaster and Crisis Support|
|St George||1800 629 795||Disaster Relief|
|Suncorp||13 11 55||Suncorp Customer Assist|
|Westpac||Business: 1800 067 497|
Insurance: 1300 369 989
|Disaster Help Hub|
Natural disaster resources
Insurance cash settlements fact sheet
While the customer must work directly with their insurer regarding an insurance claim, if a customer has a mortgage and intends to make an insurance claim on their home, it is a good idea for them to contact their bank to discuss their circumstances and the options available.