Cyclone Debbie: Big Four relief packages

Alison Banney 28 March 2017

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Emergency accommodation, waived fees and loan restructuring have been offered to Cyclone Debbie victims by the big banks.

As Cyclone Debbie tears through far-north Queensland today, Australia's biggest banks have announced relief packages to assist all personal loan and small business loan customers affected.

We have compiled a list below of what the relief packages from ANZ, CBA and NAB include. At the time of publication, Westpac had not announced any specific disaster relief for Cyclone Debbie, but the bank has in the past assisted customers with managing the impact of natural disasters on their finances. We will update this story when more information is released from Westpac.

ANZ

As part of its assistance package, ANZ announced today that it will:

  • Suspend repayments on loans (including credit cards) for up to three months.
  • Waive fees associated with restructuring business loans that are necessary due to Cyclone Debbie.
  • Allow impacted customers to apply for new home loans or personal loans or restructure finances without application fees.
  • Provide temporary adjustments to lending limits to assist with costs associated with the cyclone.
  • Allow impacted customers to access term deposits early without incurring fees.
  • Waive fees associated with replacement EFTPOS/credit card terminals.
  • Allow customers with home and contents insurance to receive assistance in the form of emergency funds and accommodation.
  • Waive life insurance premiums for up to three months.

Customers affected are encouraged to visit their local ANZ branch when it is open, or to contact the financial hardships team on 1800 149 549.

CBA

As part of its Emergency Assistance Package, CBA announced today that it will:

  • Offer emergency accommodation assistance for CommInsure customers whose homes have been damaged.
  • Prioritise claims for CommInsure customers seeking help through their home, contents and motor vehicle insurance.
  • Offer customised assistance to Commonwealth Bank home loan, credit card and personal loan customers who may experience difficulties due to the cyclone.
  • Consider requests for additional loans including emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval).
  • Offer loan restructuring for business customers with existing loans.
  • Waive charges and notice periods for affected customers wishing to access term deposits and Commonwealth Investment Bonds ahead of the maturity date.

Due to the cyclone, CBA has temporarily closed its branches in Aitkenvale, Townsville, Castletown, North Shore Townsville, Bowen, Ayr, Thuringowa, Charters Towers, Airlie Beach, Proserpine, Mackay, Caneland and Mt Pleasant.

Affected customers can phone CBA on 1300 720 814.

NAB

As part of its assistance package, NAB announced today the measures it has taken to help affected customers, including:

  • Credit card and personal loan relief where appropriate.
  • Suspension of home loan and personal loan repayments.
  • Waiving of costs and charges for withdrawing term deposits early.
  • Waiving of home loan and personal loan application fees.
  • Support for restructuring other existing bank facilities.
  • Provision of support and counselling by making NAB’s Employee Assistance Program available to customers.

NAB has also made crisis leave available to its permanent full-time and part-time staff.

Customers who need help with their finances can call NAB Assist on 1800 701 599. Small businesses needing assistance can call 1300 965 577.

Ferratum

Payday lender Ferratum has suspended all payments for residents with loans in areas affected by Cyclone Debbie. Payments can be suspended or rescheduled. Affected customers have been notified by text message.

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