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Banks offer financial support for flood-affected customers

Customers are being offered financial support for flood-affected areas across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Thousands of people were flooded over the weekend, with Victoria and Tasmania particularly affected.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) recently warned of widespread heavy rain, flooding and damaging winds impacting several areas of Tasmania, Victoria and NSW over the next coming weeks. An excess of 30–60 millimetres of heavy rain over the six-hourly totals was predicted for all three states.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has also issued over 60 flood warnings for inland NSW as of Friday (14 October). 

As of Friday (14 October), over 500 homes had been flooded and a further 9,500 homes were left without power in Victoria, and many more were impacted over the weekend and early Monday.

In response to the widespread flooding and heavy rain, banks such as NAB and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have made financial support available for customers affected by these extreme weather conditions.

NAB has encouraged customers to reach out to the bank to discuss a range of financial relief options, such as loan deferrals or reduced repayment arrangements, deferring upcoming credit card payments, and waiving and/or refunding fees and charges.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has offered similar services including loan deferrals of up to three months, discounted interest rates on new personal loans for existing customers, waiving interest rate reductions for early withdrawals, and no “loan break” costs for customers with fixed rate who used insurance payments to pay out their loans.

Additionally, ANZ and Westpac have offered support for their customers as well. Much like NAB and Bendigo, the two major banks are also offering deferred home loan repayments (up to three months in Westpac’s case), and waiving any fees for restructuring loans.

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is also offering special arrangements for customers in flood-affected areas through its CBA Emergency Assistance including temporary overdrafts, additional loans or emergency credit limit increases, assistance with emergency accommodation for customers who have taken out Home Insurance distributed by CommBank along with customised payment arrangements for home, personal, credit and business loans. 

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NAB retail executive, Krissie Jones, said that these measures are there for customers to access immediate support.

“We know this is impacting a lot of families and businesses across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. The number one priority is to stay safe and when people are ready to talk to their bank, we are here to help,” Ms Jones stated.

General manager retail banking at Bendigo Bank, Dennis Teale, stated the bank would continue to support its customers in flood-affected areas as it’s done in the past.

“We want to reassure all our customers that right now, their number one concern needs to be their safety — and that their bank will be there to help when the time comes,” Mr Teale stated.

“We are offering our home loan, business loan and agribusiness loan customers impacted by the floods a range of relief measures including loan repayment deferrals of up to three months.

The package also includes discounted interest rates, fee waivers and other concessions. Our team members are available to ensure requests for assistance are managed promptly.”

Earlier this year, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) commissioned a study that revealed that Australians have paid $1,532 on average due to the extreme weather conditions over the last year.

[RELATED: Disasters cost households more than $1000, study reveals]

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