Big Four banks unveil support options for cyclone victims

by Gerv Tacadena14 Apr 2021

Major banks have rolled out range of support measures for their clients who are affected by the tropical cyclone Seroja in Western Australia.

The cyclone, which made landfall near Kalbarri on Sunday, has impacted more than 1,000km of the state. Reports say that 70% of structures in Kalbarri have been damaged by the cyclone.

Below are the support measures offered by each major bank:

ANZ's financial support

ANZ opened a wide selection of financial support for its customers. These include:

  • Pausing payments for up to three months on home loans, credit cards, personal loans and some business loans (you may still be charged with interest during that period)     
  • Temporary interest rate reductions on lending for customers experiencing extreme financial distress
  • Waiving fees for restructuring business loans
  • Waiving fees for accessing term deposits early

"As people begin the recovery process, we hope these relief measures we've announced today will help them as they face various challenges," said Kathleen Jahour, general manager for Western Australia at ANZ.

How to contact ANZ: Clients can reach out to the bank's dedicated financial hardship team at 1800 149 549. They can also visit anz.com.au/support/natural-disaster-support

CBA's emergency assistance

CBA has rolled out special arrangements for affected customers. CBA offers the following options:

  • Customised payment arrangements for your home loan, credit card, business or personal loan.
  • Waiving fees and charges.
  • Temporary overdrafts, additional loans or emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval).
  • Waiving fees and notice periods for early access to Term Deposits.
  • Other individual support options may also be available to you.
  • For CommInsure customers, we are able to assist with emergency accommodation if your home has been damaged.
  • We can also expedite claims to CommInsure for customers seeking help through their home and contents insurance.

How to contact CBA: To access CBA's emergency assistance, customers can phone the bank on 1800 314 695 or visit www.commbank.com.au/emergencyassistance.

NAB's disaster relief package

NAB encourages clients affected by the cyclone to reach out to the bank and explore relief options including the following:

  • Credit card and personal loan relief.
  • Waiving the application fee for restructuring business facilities.
  • Deferral of business loan payments principal and/or leasing payments.
  • Waiving costs and charges for withdrawing term deposits early (including Farm Management Deposits).
  • Concessional loans to customers seeking support to restructure existing facilities to assist in repairs, restocking and re-opening for business.
  • Offering reduction on home loan and personal loan repayments or moratorium.
  • NAB Assist tele-consults for customers.
  • Wellbeing support service for colleagues and customers.

"We are here to support all NAB customers, employees and the wider community before, during and after a natural disaster. Anyone who needs assistance or advice should contact us so we can discuss their circumstances and work out the best way we can help," said Krissie Jones, retail executive for NAB.

How to contact NAB: Customers can call NAB Assist on 1800 701 599 or visit nab.com.au/disaster. Small businesses seeking assistance can call 1300 961 577.

Westpac's emergency assistance package

Westpac's retail and business customers can access a range of support options including the following:

  • Home loan customers may apply to defer repayments for up to three months.
  • Credit card customers may request to defer repayments for up to 90 days.
  • Customers wishing to purchase replacement goods may apply for a personal loan at a
  • discounted interest rate with no establishment fee.
  • Waived interest rate adjustments for customers wishing to withdraw term deposits.
  • Business customers may request loan restructuring with no fees incurred.

Chris de Bruin, Westpac chief executive for consumer and business banking, said these support measures will provide customers with access to urgent financial support.

"Cyclone Seroja has caused widespread damage impacting households and businesses across Western Australia's mid-west coast including the towns of Kalbarri and Northampton," he said. "Our customer assistance teams are ready to talk to customers who need to access this support, and we have proactively contacted our home and contents insurance customers where possible."

How to contact Westpac: Reach out to Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497.