Big 4 banks announce relief packages for customers affected by catastrophic NSW storms

After the devastating storms hit the state last week, major Australian banks have stepped up and announced relief packages for homeowners in NSW affected by the severe weather conditions.

  • For disaster recovery tips read the Insurance Council of Australia's advice here

The Commonwealth Bank has activated its Emergency Assistance Package, which allows for emergency accommodation assistance for CommInsure customers, waiver of charges and notice periods for affected customers who want to access term deposits and Commonwealth Investment Bonds ahead of the maturity date.

In addition, they will also fast-track claims for customers seeking help through their home and contents insurance.

“The disruption and impacts caused by these storms are widespread and we would like to do what we can for our affected customers and community members at this difficult time,” said Andrew Hall, Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Commonwealth Bank.

Westpac has also announced its relief package, according to which, affected customers can apply to defer home loan and credit card repayments up to three months. Customers who need to purchase replacement goods can apply for a personal loan at a discounted interest rate, and affected credit card customers can request an emergency credit limit increase.

“We are also fast-tracking insurance claims and our assessors are ready to assist all Westpac customers in the worst affected areas. In particular, customers can now use a new online insurance claims service that they can access via their smartphones and tablets and which is quick and easy to complete,” said Jessica Power, state general manager, NSW Regional, Westpac Retail Banking.

ANZ also has a similar assistance package, which lets affected customers suspend repayments on loans, including credit cards, for up to three months. The bank will also waive any charges associated with restructuring business loans required due to flood impacts and provide temporary adjustments to lending limits to help with unexpected costs.

“We hope this assistance package provides some relief to our NSW customers and allows them to access funds needed to help them get back to their feet,” said Mark Hand, ANZ Managing Director Retail Distribution.

Further, apart from announcing a number of disaster relief measures, NAB has also made a donation of up to $300,000 through the NAB Community Relief Fund. Other measures include suspending home and personal loan repayments, waiver of charges for withdrawing term deposits early, and waiving home loan and personal loan fees and charges.

“This is a tough time for people and we want them to know that they have our support. From staff who need time off to mind kids because schools are closed, to customers needing to take a break from their mortgage repayments and a local footy club repairing damaged facilities, we are here to help,” said Paul Juergens, NAB General Manager Retail in Northern NSW.