Banks offering helping hand to fire victims

by Lena Woods14 Jan 2013

The ABA today says banks are offering a range of emergency relief packages to assist people affected by the bushfires in Tasmania, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria and other parts of Australia.

Banks have introduced assistance packages to help families, business people, farmers and individuals in the communities affected by bushfires.

Steven Münchenberg, chief executive of the ABA, says banks understand this is a difficult time for households and businesses affected by the fires.

“It’s not a time when people want to be worrying about their finances. The banks’ emergency packages provide practical help by giving immediate financial relief to those in most need of assistance.”

Banks are offering a range of support options.  The assistance provided to customers will depend on their individual circumstances and needs, but may include:


  •     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;
  •     refinancing personal loans at a discounted fixed rate;
  •     waiving interest rate penalties if term deposits are drawn early; and
  •     deferring repayments on equipment finance facilities.


Münchenberg says the best way to contact your bank is to speak to your relationship manager or call the bank’s dedicated support number.

These numbers can be found on the ABA website You can also speak to a free, independent financial counsellor by calling 1800 007 007.