2 March 2018
Banana growers in north Queensland affected by Panama disease are encouraged to contact their bank to access a range of hardship measures on offer.
Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said banks understood the challenges facing growers in the region because of the new outbreak of the disease and were on hand to help.
“This is a challenging time for banana growers in north Queensland who are contending with the effects of the Panama disease or the threat of it,” Ms Bligh said.
“An outbreak, or threat of outbreak, can have a significant impact on income and cashflow, causing heavy financial strain on farmers.
“We strongly encourage farmers who are concerned about their financial situation to contact their bank as early as possible to access the many forms of assistance available.
“Banks understand that agriculture can be heavily impacted by weather and seasons therefore can be flexible where needed to help customers in need,” she said.
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; and
- Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.
Find out the contact details of your bank’s financial hardship team here.
Over the past few months Australia’s major banks have met with representatives from the Queensland Government and the banana industry about the effects of Panama disease.
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.