Agribusiness banker, Rabobank, has offered to defer scheduled loan repayments and waive fees for equipment finance contract variations or loan increases for farmer clients affected by the NSW bushfires.
The bank is also waiving break fees for customers needing to redeem farm management deposits after being caught by the fires.
Rabobank national manager for country banking, Todd Charteris, said the bank’s staff had been making contact with clients in bushfire-affected areas – primarily east of Dunedoo around Leadville, Turill, Cassilis and Coolah – to check on their wellbeing, offer assistance and gauge the extent of any damage to their enterprise.
“While we haven’t been able to make contact with all our clients in bushfire-affected areas due to the mobile network being down in some areas, we are trying to reach all impacted clients to check on their welfare and offer support and assistance,” he said.
Mr Charteris said with the 54,725 hectare “Sir Ivan” bushfire still being contained, and with numerous fires burning around the state in areas including Gloucester, Boggabri, Mudgee and on NSW Mid North Coast, there were concerns the impact could become more significant and widespread.
“This is particularly a concern with weather conditions forecast to deteriorate later in the week, and the Met Bureau expecting a return of hot and windy conditions,” he said.
The fires had caused considerable damage to agriculture.
“While it is too early to gauge the full extent of damage to agricultural land, infrastructure and livestock, there have been a number of farming properties affected,” Mr Charteris said.
The bank would work directly with individual clients to help support them through immediate difficulties with Rabobank providing a range of assistance measures to those in applicable circumstances.
Rabobank has urged any impacted clients who had not yet spoken to the bank to contact their local branch or phone the bank on (1800) 025 484.