NSW bushfires: Big Four banks relief packages

Peter Terlato 14 February 2017

bushfire australia

Fees waived, credit limits raised and loan restructuring.

The latest, devastating bush fires sweeping across New South Wales have prompted Australia's Big Four banks to deliver disaster relief packages for affected customers.

National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) released statements outlining financial assistance services afforded to impacted customers.

At the time of publication, Westpac (WBC) had not announced any specific disaster relief but the bank has, in the past, assisted customers to manage the impact of natural disasters on their finances.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The bank's emergency assistance package includes emergency accommodation assistance for CommInsure customers whose homes have been damaged. Claims for customers seeking help through their home, contents and motor vehicle insurance will be expedited to CommInsure for faster processing.

Customised assistance is available for fire-affected CBA home loan, credit card and personal loan customers. The bank will also consider requests for additional loans, including emergency credit limit increases and loan restructuring for existing business customers.

Prepayment charges for affected customers wishing to access term deposits and investment bonds ahead of the maturity date will be waived for the next month, while allowances will be made for the withdrawal of cash deposit account fixed term deposit funds before maturity.

In the case of damaged EFTPOS facilities, merchant fees will be abandoned until trading recommences and fees waived for the early termination of insurance payouts (asset finance).

Phone: 1300 653 012

ANZ

ANZ has offered to suspend repayments on loans, including credit cards, for up to three months (which may include interest capitalisation). Impacted customers will also be able to access term deposits early and replace lost or damaged business EFTPOS/credit card terminals without incurring any fees.

The bank will waive fees associated with restructuring business loans, while customers wishing to apply for new home or personal loans can do so, fee-free. ANZ will also allow for temporary adjustments to existing lending limits, including credit cards, to assist with unexpected costs.

Home and contents insurance customers may be eligible to receive further emergency assistance, while eligible ANZ or OnePath life insurance customers can have premiums waived for up to three months.

Phone: 1800 149 549

National Australia Bank

NAB will provide credit card and personal loan relief where appropriate, suspend home and personal loan repayments and offer support to restructure existing bank facilities.

Home and personal loan application fees will be waived, as will those for withdrawing term deposits early.

The bank has also made their Employee Assistance Program available to all banking customers, which includes counselling services and additional support.

Phone: 1800 701 599

While cover for fire is standard in most home and contents insurance, it's always good to check that your policy covers natural disasters, such as bushfires, and is sufficient to cover your home and possessions.

All New South Wales banking customers affected by bushfires are encouraged to visit or contact their local branch to discuss relief options available for their business or personal circumstances.

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