Bushfire assistance / bank hardship teams
5 February 2021
West Australians affected by bushfires in parts of the state are encouraged to contact their bank to access a wide range of available assistance
“With more than 80 homes and properties lost to date, tragically many West Australians will be facing financial difficulty on top of everything else”, said Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh.
“The message from banks is clear: don’t tough it out on your own, your bank is ready to help”.
In recent years bank hardship teams have been working with communities impacted by natural disasters, offering customers a range of services including deferred loan repayments, waiving fees and charges and restructuring of existing loans.
“The most important consideration right now is staying safe. But when West Australians affected by recent bushfires are ready to pick up the pieces, their bank will be ready to help,” Ms Bligh said.
“The most important consideration right now is staying safe. But when West Australians affected by recent bushfires are ready to pick up the pieces, their bank will be ready to help,”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
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 access to term 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 bushfires are also encouraged to contact their bank to access various forms of assistance.
For more information, or to find the number for your bank’s hardship team go to www.ausbanking.org.au/doingittough.
Australian banks are supporting communities in Far North Queensland affected by Tropical Cyclone Niran.
“No customer is going to wake up the day after the 31st of March and find that there is some legal action being taken by their bank on their loan.”