Flood victims urged to ‘call your bank’

·3-min read
Australian currency fanned out and people walking in the Sydney CBD holding umbrellas to represent floods.
Aussies impacted by the floods are being urged to seek support if they need it. (Source: Getty)

Australians who have been impacted by floods due to the deluge hitting the east coast of the country have been urged to call their bank if they need support.

With flooding continuing to affect thousands of people, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) has urged customers to speak up if they need help.

ABA chief operating officer Vanessa Beggs said Australia had once again been affected by multiple flood events which had tested the nation's resilience.

“Australian banks are supporting their customers with tailored assistance to help them at this difficult time,” Beggs said.

“Natural disasters can quickly turn into a financial emergency. To best prevent this from happening, customers are encouraged to reach out to their bank as early as possible to get the support they need.

“The message from banks is clear: don’t tough it out on your own. Call your bank as soon as you are able to, they are ready to help.”

ABA member banks offer a range of measures to help customers affected by natural disasters.

Depending on individual circumstances, assistance may include:

  • A deferral of scheduled loan repayments on home, personal and some business loans for up to 3 months

  • Waiving of fees and charges, including for early access to term deposits

  • Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable

  • Restructuring existing loans free of the usual establishment fees

  • Offering additional finance to help cover cash-flow shortages

  • Deferring upcoming credit card payments

  • Emergency credit limit increases

How to contact your bank for help

All four of the major banks (Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, NAB and Westpac) are providing emergency assistance to customers.

There are a range of options available, depending on your personal circumstances and what your bank provides.

If you’re a CBA customer, you can contact the bank in the CommBank app, by phoning 1800 314 695 or visiting their nearest Commonwealth Bank branch, if safe to do so.

Business customers can also call 1800 314 695 or speak with their dedicated CommBank relationship manager.

ANZ customers affected by flooding can contact the bank’s dedicated financial-hardship team on 1800 149 549 or at anz.com.au/support/natural-disaster-support/.

Customers can also visit their local branch if they are able to, or contact their relationship manager to discuss the impact on their business or personal circumstances.

NAB customers who need help are encouraged to contact their banker directly, or call NAB Assist on 1300 308 132 for personal customers or 1300 769 650 for business and agri customers.

Finally, Westpac customers can apply online or call Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497.

Business customers who need support can contact their relationship manager or call Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497.

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