Support swells for bushfire relief

by Madison Utley10 Jan 2020

Industry fundraising for bushfire relief has ballooned, with participation across every strata gaining momentum — lenders, aggregators, associations and brokers alike.

The Broker Bushfire Appeal has raised hundreds of thousands over the last 24 hours alone, with recent contributions of $100,000 from each Loan MarketMortgage Choice and Aussie.

"We realise that many Australians will be affected by these fires, and while the initial loss is heartbreaking, the long-term effects will be a heavy burden," said Loan Market executive chairman Sam White.

"We want to help alleviate some of this burden and that's why we are donating $100,000 to the Bushfire Relief, backed by brokers, and will be encouraging our brokers and communities to support where they can.”

Mortgage Choice CEO Susan Mitchell weighed in saying, "This is such a challenging time for many Australians, so it’s extremely important we rally together as an industry to support and help them rebuild their lives and communities."

A similar sentiment was expressed by Aussie CEO James Symond.

“We've been devastated to see the impact of the bushfires around the country and our thoughts are with those affected," he said. 

"There has already been an amazing response across Australia and internationally to donate to this cause, and our industry also wanted to make a contribution to the financial support needed by many."

Lenders have also been announcing donations of their own, independent from the Broker Bushfire Appeal.

La Trobe Financial has pledged $1 million to be split between The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal and The Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief Recovery Fund.

President and CEO Greg O’Neill OAM said, “We express our deepest sympathies to people who have suffered tremendous loss as a result of these devastating fires. We also express our gratitude to the tireless volunteers and emergency workers who are supporting our communities.”

Non-bank mortgage provider Resimac announced it's donating $100,000, with three quarters of that sum going to the Salvation Army Disaster Appeal and the remainder to WIRES – Emergency Fund for Wildlife.

The lender will also be offering affected customers a range of support options to enable them to focus on more critical matters.  

Resimac CEO Scott McWilliam said, “Our thoughts are with the members of the communities, and the wildlife, who have been impacted by these horrific events. We hope these donations will help support them to stay resilient through the next few months and assist with their road to recovery."  

Peer-to-peer lender RateSetter has committed to donating any establishment fees for all broker-introduced loans drawn down as a result of a RateEstimate and lodged on 24 January to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. The group hopes to donate around $50,000.

RateSetter CEO Daniel Foggo said, “In partnership with our brokers, we know this commitment can make a real difference and go some way to alleviating the very real horror Australians are enduring,”

“We hope our brokers join us in our efforts to assist communities affected by this unprecedented crisis. We also encourage brokers to provide information to their clients about our hardship assistance arrangements so we can support our borrowers as they need.”