Banks stand ready to help customers impacted by bushfires

facing financial difficulties as a result of fires raging across New South
Wales and Queensland are being encouraged to contact their bank for assistance
when they are able to do so.

CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh said
that banks have hardship teams ready to assist customers affected by the fires.

“While the immediate concern for all is the safety of
communities in bushfire areas, banks stand ready to help customers where needed
across NSW and Queensland,” Ms Bligh said.

“Any customer who has been impacted by these fires should contact
their bank when they are able to do so to access a wide range of help,
including deferring loan payments, waiving fees and consolidating debts,” she

ABA member banks offer a range of services to help
customers affected by bushfires and other natural disasters such as drought,
floods or other circumstances outside their control. These can include:

  • A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
  • Waiving fees and charges, including break costs
    on early redemption of Farm Management Deposits
  • Debt consolidation to help make repayments more
  • Restructuring existing loans free of the usual
    establishment fees
  • Deferring interest payments on a case-by-case
  • Offering additional finance to help cover cash
    flow shortages
  • Deferring upcoming credit card payments
  • Increasing emergency credit card limits.

Small businesses affected by these bushfires are also
encouraged to contact their bank to access various forms of assistance to help
them through the recovery.

/Public Release. View in full here.