The National Australia Bank has announced customers who have lost their homes in the catastrophic fires will be eligible for $2,000 grants.
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Additionally, NAB employees who have been forced to evacuate their homes will be eligible for a $1,000 relief grant.
Around 450 homes were lost on New Year’s Eve alone, bringing the total estimated number to around 1,365.
The major bank made the announcement on Friday afternoon, explaining that eligible customers will have funds deposited into their customer accounts as soon as the next business day.
“NAB customers who have lost their homes can immediately access a $2,000 grant to assist with their urgent needs such as food, clothing and temporary accommodation,” the bank said.
It’s part of the bank’s $1 million disaster relief fund, with the bank also looking into providing support for agriculture businesses that have lost crops and livestock.
“I have heard the grief in our bankers’ voices as they grapple with making sure our colleagues are safe and, at the same time, are dealing with the impact more broadly on their own communities,” chief customer officer Mike Baird said.
“There are horrific tales of lost homes, lost livelihoods and, most tragically, lost loved ones. Many families and businesses face an uncertain future and we want to do all we can.”
Customers should visit their local branch or call NAB on 1300 683 106.
Australians took to Facebook to commend the major bank for the move, with one person describing it as the “kindest gesture I’ve ever seen a bank make”.
“Such a wonderful thing to do for those in our community who have lost everything and are needing a hand at this awful time,” added another.
All four major banks, NAB, CommBank, ANZ and Westpac have offered comprehensive aid packages, although NAB so far is the only to supply financial grants.
All three major telcos, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone, have committed to waiving volunteer firefighters’ phone bills for December and January.
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