Deepening drought conditions across large areas of regional Australia have prompted the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to extend its support measures for affected customers.
Support measures have been expanded to provide assistance to commercial businesses and agribusinesses.
They include access to a short term, confidential telephone counselling service, a possible pause on business loan repayments and early withdrawal of farm management deposit funds before maturity without penalties.
The bank will work on a case-by-case basis to review the individual needs of regional and agribusiness customers affected by drought.
CBA’s executive general manager of regional and agribusiness banking, Grant Cairns, said large areas across Australia continued to suffer from drought conditions and the bank fully appreciated the profound impact this was having on regional businesses and communities.
“We want to remind our customers of the ongoing support measures we have in place for those who are affected by drought, which should provide some relief during this difficult time,” he said.
Drought support measures may include, depending on circumstances, a range of options, starting with the confidential telephone counselling service, but also including, early FMD withdrawals without penalty; extending business loan term agreements; waiving fees and charges related to business loan restructures, and temporarily freezing business loan repayments.
“We have long standing relationships with our regional and agribusiness customers, many of whom run viable and successful businesses under more favourable climate conditions,” Mr Cairns said.
He urged the bank’s regional and agribusiness customers who may be experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the drought to contact their relationship manager or visit their nearest Commonwealth branch
General drought assistance inquiries could also be made to Commonwealth Bank specialists by telephoning (1300) 772 968.