Australian Bankers' Association Inc.

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Banks offer support to customers affected by extreme weather

Sydney, 27 February, 2013: The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) is urging customers to contact their banks for emergency relief if they have been affected by the severe weather in Queensland and New South Wales.

Individual banks have assistance packages to help families, business people, farmers and individuals in the communities affected by the floods and violent storms.

Steven Münchenberg, Chief Executive of the ABA, said: “Banks understand this is a difficult and stressful time for those households and businesses affected by the extreme weather – it’s not a time when people want to be worrying about their finances.”

“The banks’ emergency packages provide practical help by giving immediate financial relief to those in most need of assistance.  If someone’s home, income or business has been affected by the floods or storms, they should contact their bank as soon as they are able to.  If you think you are going to miss a payment, then banks try to help customers get back on their feet.”

Banks offer a range of support options.  The assistance provided to any customer will depend on their individual circumstances and needs, but may include:

  • deferring home loan repayments;
  • restructuring business loans without incurring fees; 
  • giving credit card holders an emergency credit limit increase;
  • providing payment holidays on personal loans or credit cards;
  • refinancing loans at a discounted fixed rate;
  • waiving interest rate penalties if term deposits are drawn early; and
  • deferring repayments on equipment finance facilities.

Mr Münchenberg said: “It’s often not well understood that banks do offer their customers assistance during these difficult times and go beyond what might be legally required to offer immediate financial relief and support to affected customers and their communities.  If you know someone affected, let them know that banks are offering emergency packages.”

The best way to contact your bank is to speak to your relationship manager or call the banks’ dedicated emergency relief numbers or financial hardship support numbers (see over). These numbers can be found on the ABA website www.bankers.asn.au or at www.doingittough.info along with additional information to assist people that might be experiencing financial difficulty.  You can also speak to a free, independent financial counsellor by calling 1800 007 007.

If you have been affected by the extreme weather and need to talk to your bank, please call the appropriate number below:

Bank

Telephone

AMP

1300 157 820

ANZ

1800 252 845

Bank of Queensland

1800 079 866

BankSA

1800 679 461

Bankwest

1300 769 173

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

1300 652 146

Citi

1800 722 879

Commonwealth Bank

1300 720 814

HSBC

1300 301 168

ING

1300 349 166

Macquarie

1300 651 393

ME Bank

1300 500 520

NAB

1800 701 599

Rabobank

1800 025 484

St George

1800 629 795

Suncorp

1800 225 223

Westpac

1800 067 497

For further information: 

Heather Wellard, ABA PR, 

Phone: 02 8298 0411, Mobile: 0409 830 439   @austbankers


ENDS


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