The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has suspended repayments on loans, including credit cards, for victims of the savage bushfires in NSW.
As part of a financial assistance package for customers impacted by the fires, debt repayments have been frozen for up to three months (which may include interest capitalisation).
The bank is also waiving fees associated with restructuring business loans considered necessary due to fire losses.
NSW head of ANZ’s regional business banking, Stuart Hancock, said it was devastating to see the impact of the bushfires at the weekend as authorities responded to more than 200 fires around the state.
“We know the conditions were the worst seen by firefighters in 25 years and the situation is still being monitored closely,” he said.
“Our thoughts go out to all who have been impacted, including the firefighters who lost their homes while protecting the homes of others.
“This is a very difficult time for our staff and customers who have lost livestock and property – we hope this assistance package provides them with the financial relief and support they need.”
As part of its assistance package, ANZ will also scrap usual application fees for people restructuring their finances or applying for new home or personal loans, and allow customers to access term deposits early without incurring any fees.
The bank will also provide temporary adjustments to existing lending limits, including credit cards, to assist with unexpected costs and waive fees associated with replacement of damaged business EFTPOS/credit card terminals
Affected customers with home and contents insurance may be eligible to receive assistance, including emergency funds and temporary accommodation, while life insurance premiums will be waived for for up to three months for eligible customers of ANZ or its insurance group OnePath.
Mr Hancock said customers affected in NSW were urged to visit their local branch if possible, or to contact their relationship manager to discuss the impact on their business or personal circumstances.
Alternatively, they could contact ANZ’s dedicated financial hardship team on (1800) 149 549 or via anz.com/hardship.
To lodge an insurance claim customers can call 13 16 14 or visit anz.com/insuranceclaims