Industry reaches half of bushfire relief goal

by Madison Utley17 Jan 2020

The Mortgage and Finance Industry Bushfire Relief fund has successfully raised half of its goal amount, having raised $375,000 for the Australian Red Cross as of 16 January.

The target is $750,000 as, the page states, it’s “only fitting” an industry centred on making homes, investment properties and business funding accessible to Australians supports the bushfire-affected communities and brokers operating within them.

Industry groups have continued to offer their support, both through giving to the fund and establishing relief measures of their own. 

Australian Finance Group (AFG) has contributed $10,000 to the fund, in addition to setting aside $100,000 for relief grants to provide fast access to a once-off payment of $1,000 for AFG brokers and customers with serious injuries or damaged property due to the bushfires.

The group is also actively encouraging its members to support the industry fundraising campaign directly.

La Trobe Financial has established a Disaster Relief Package to complement the $1m it has already donated to those affected by the bushfires across Australia.

For customers who have lost their homes, La Trobe will pay loan interest and charges for twelve months, provide access to interest-free finance to help cover any gap between insurance payouts and the cost of rebuilding, and allow fee-free withdrawals from investments in the La Trobe Australian Credit Fund.

Further, for other customers experiencing hardship because of the bushfires, La Trobe will defer loan repayments for up to twelve months, help with finance on discounted terms to cover property repair costs or support a small business, and make it easier to access investments in the La Trobe Australian Credit Fund without incurring fees.

Customers who are volunteer firefighters are also able to access financial help, including deferral of home loan repayments for up to six months.

“True to our philosophy of others before self, we are determined to look out for our customers and offer meaningful support to those affected through this very challenging time,” said Greg O’Neill OAM, La Trobe President and CEO.

NAB has also expanded its bushfire relief contributions to $5m, with the three NAB-owned aggregators having joined forces to support brokers and their families. FAST has donated $35,000 to the industry relief fund, PLAN Australia gave $30,000, and Choice Aggregation donated $20,000.

The three groups have made NAB grants available to their brokers whose personal or business property has been affected by the fires. Additionally, the counselling services through NAB’s Employee Assistance Program have been extended, with a dedicated hotline now open to brokers and their families who have been impacted by the tragedy. 

Contributions to the industry fund can be made here