Following in NAB’s footsteps, another major lender has announced a drought support package for farmers.
ANZ’s package includes the suspension of loan repayments and access to hardship support services, until 31 July 2019.
This follows the recent round of royal commission hearings, where farmers across Australia told their experiences of struggling with loans from banks.
The suspension of loan repayments includes credit cards, business loans and home loans for up to three months. These would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The support package also includes a commitment not to increase interest rates on distressed customers and interest rate relief in cases of extreme distress for customers in drought declared areas.
The bank will waive fees associated with restructuring business loans considered necessary due to the impact of drought and will provide early access to term deposits without incurring any fees for impacted customers.
As well as providing access to support services, ANZ will also provide a financial assistance package to support farmers choosing to relocate off land.
It will also increase funding for rural counselling focused on towns hardest hit by drought declared areas.
Commenting on the support package, ANZ State Director Agribusiness, Ben Barrett said: “While customers in NSW and Queensland are doing it particularly tough at the moment, we know there are farmers across the country that have been adversely impacted by drought.
“We hope these measures help provide some certainty over the next 12 months and we encourage all customers to contact us in times of difficulty so we can provide support to help ease the financial burden.”
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