With entire regions of central New South Wales being affected by severe flooding, several of Australia’s banks have offered relief and support packages for affected customers.
Australia’s big four banks, plus several other financial institutions, have offered to support customers in NSW whose incomes and livelihoods have been affected by the ongoing flooding.
What flood relief options are the banks offering?
- Pausing payments for up to three months on home loans, credit cards, personal loans and some business loans (interest may still be charged during that period)
- Temporarily reducing interest rates on lending for customers experiencing extreme financial distress
- Waiving fees for restructuring business loans
- Waiving fees for accessing term deposits early
- Offering customised payment arrangements for home loans, credit cards or personal loans
- Waiving fees and charges
- Offering temporary overdrafts, additional loans or emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval)
- Waiving fees and notice periods for early access to Term Deposits
- Offering other individual support options
- Providing credit card and personal loan relief
- Waiving application fees and charges for withdrawing term deposits early
- Waiving the application fee for restructuring business facilities
- Offering deferral of principal and/or leasing payments
- Providing access to complimentary, professional and confidential counselling
- Home loan customers may apply to defer repayments for up to three months
- Credit card customers can apply to defer repayments for up to 90 days
- Customers wishing to purchase replacement goods may apply for a personal loan at a discounted interest rate with no establishment fee
- Waiving interest rate adjustments for customers wishing to withdraw term deposits
- Business customers may request loan restructuring with no fees incurred
- Offering financial hardship assistance if you are finding it difficult to make repayments on your loan
- Offering other options like early access to Term Deposits and waived fees and charges
- Offering access to in-advance loan repayments or funds in Term Deposits
- Restructuring loan repayments to help customers to restore their homes or replace damaged items.
What other relief options are available?
The Australian government is offering relief via Services Australia, in the form of the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP). Those who have been seriously injured, have lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged, whose major assets have been directly damaged or are the immediate family members of a person who has died as a direct result of the storms and floods, may claim $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child.
Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) may also be available to employees, primary producers and sole traders who can demonstrate they have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the storms and floods. DRA provides fortnightly payments for up to 13 weeks up to the applicable rate of JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance, depending on the person's circumstances.
This support may be available to those affected in the following local government areas:
- Blue Mountains
- Central Coast
- Clarence Valley
- Coffs Harbour
- Inner West
- Lake Macquarie
- Northern Beaches
- Port Macquarie-Hastings
- Port Stephens
- The Hills