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The Westpac Group commits $1 million to Queensland flood relief

 

13 January 2011

The Westpac Group today announced it would contribute a total of $1 million to support relief and recovery activities in the flood devastated areas of Brisbane and the broader South-East Queensland region.

The Westpac Group acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Peter Hanlon said the group would be committing an additional $600,000 in funding including an additional $300,000 to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal (includes $250,000 from St.George) and an additional $300,000 to assist with the redevelopment of flood-affected areas.

The additional amount increases Westpac’s total contribution to flood relief and recovery activities to $1million, following an initial contribution of $400,000 announced on December 30 2010.

On top of this, The Westpac Group will be matching employee donations dollar-for-dollar made to flood-related appeals. The Westpac Group is encouraging its 40,000 employees across Australia, Asia and New Zealand to support fundraising efforts, including its own national Big Red Heart Day. This is consistent with the bank’s approach during the 2009 Victorian bushfire appeal which saw over $800,000 raised through staff contributions.

“The magnitude of the devastation which has occurred in Brisbane and the broader South-East Queensland region has made it imperative for The Westpac Group to provide further funds toward the extensive recovery and redevelopment process now required,” Mr Hanlon said.

“We share the shock and horror of all Australians of the extent of this tragedy and extend our deepest sympathies to all those individuals who have been impacted by the devastation.” In addition to the extra funds, Mr Hanlon said The Westpac Group continued to canvas all options to provide on-the-ground assistance to customers and other impacted individuals in flooded areas. This included assisting with general clean-up efforts, distributing Government emergency cash handouts, helping with food drops and volunteering time at rescue centres.

The SLSQ Westpac Rescue Helicopter has also been helping flood victims and has been on standby to assist in the Ipswich/Brisbane/GoldCoast area as flood waters continue to move.

Westpac has also extended its Disaster Relief package to all flood-impacted areas and has encouraged all impacted staff and customers to seek the bank’s support.

The relief package offers the following assistance:

  • Affected customers with Westpac home loans may apply to defer repayments for up to three months
  • Affected businesses with existing loans can request loan restructuring without incurring the usual bank establishment fees 
  • Affected credit card customers may ask to defer their next credit card payment. Customers can also request an emergency credit limit increase 
  • Affected customers with Westpac personal loans can apply to refinance their loan at a discounted fixed interest rate
  • Westpac will waive interest penalties for affected customers wishing to withdraw term deposits.