Bank bushfire responses praised

by 15 Jan 2014
The ABA has welcomed the relief offered by banks in the wake of bushfires that have devastated the Perth Hills area.

Chief executive of the ABA, Steven Munchenberg, praised individual banks for offering emergency relief packages to assist those affected by the bushfires.

“Banks understand this is a difficult and stressful time for people whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed, damaged or affected by the fires. It’s not a time when people want to be worrying about their finances.”

All four major banks have announced disaster relief packages which include options such as:
  • deferring home loan repayments; 
  • restructuring business loans without incurring fees; 
  • giving credit card holders an emergency credit limit increase; 
  • providing payment holidays on credit cards; 
  • financing personal loans at a discounted fixed rate; 
  • waiving interest rate penalties if term deposits are drawn early; and
  • deferring repayments on equipment finance facilities. 
Commonwealth Bank has also announced it is accepting donations for the Lord Mayors Disaster Relief Fund at all branches, and that the bank has made a $30,000 donation to the fund.

Matt Boss, ANZ’s managing director retail products and marketing said the bank’s immediate concern is for the safety of those in and around the Perth Hills area, where reports suggest close to 50 homes have been lost.

“Australians are again digesting news of a bushfire devastating a community and with weather conditions worsening it is shaping up as potentially a long fire season,” he said. “We want our customers to know that ANZ is ready to provide the financial assistance they need to help get them back on their feet.”

Corinee Proske, head of community and finance development at NAB, echoed Boss’ sentiments.

“This is a difficult time for our customers and our employees in the impacted areas and many of them are still facing the real danger of the bushfires,” said Proske.

NAB wants to ensure that all employees, customers and communities know that when they need the support we will be there. Anyone who needs assistance or advice can contact us so we can discuss their circumstances and work out the best way to help.”