With the livelihoods of Australia’s fruit farmers under threat due to multiple incidents of ‘fruit sabotage’ around the nation, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) has stepped in to offer assistance to affected farmers by deferring loan payments, waiving fees and restructuring loans.
Australian Banking Association CEO, Anna Bligh, said that banks have years of experience in assisting rural producers through disasters and are prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with farmers who need help:
“This terrible incident of sabotaging fruit has shocked the country and is already taking its toll on our fruit farmers.”
“Banks have specific hardship teams which specialise in this area, contactable through the main switchboard, who can walk customers through what can be done to see farmers through this difficult time.”
The type of assistance ABA member banks may offer to affected fruit farmers may include one or more of the following (depending on circumstances):
- A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
- Waiving fees and charges
- Interest free periods or no interest rate increases
- Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable
Ms Bligh urged any farmers who needed assistance from their bank to contact them directly.