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Media releases

Westpac sets up temporary bank branch at Ipswich flood evacuation centre


14 January 2011

Westpac has set up a Mobile Banking Centre at Ipswich’s primary flood evacuation precinct, allowing displaced victims of the devastating Queensland floods to perform basic banking transactions and cash emergency relief cheques.

The Mobile Banking Centre will be available for anyone - not just customers of Westpac - to cash Queensland Government emergency relief cheques, and will be set up at the evacuation centre at Ipswich Showgrounds, 81 Warwick Road Ipswich from midday today.

The regular Westpac Ipswich branch will also be reopening today, while the Mobile Banking Centre which opened at Brisbane’s RNA Showground yesterday will be remaining opening until at least Sunday. A number of other Westpac branches in flood-affected areas have also reopened for business.

Both the Brisbane and Ipswich temporary branches will be operated by Westpac staff and will allow evacuees and others to withdraw cash from their accounts as well as cash emergency relief cheques which have been issued by the Queensland Government. Mobile EFTPOS access will also be available.

Staff will also be able to field enquiries from Westpac customers about their mortgages, credit-card limits and payments, and generally help as much as possible.

“Westpac is standing by Queensland in its time of need,“ Brisbane South-West Acting Regional General Manager Retail, Sharyn Rice, said.

“Our priority is to give our customer peace of mind, and so we are making every effort to take banking services to where they are most needed.

“Our Westpac staff will be on the ground at the evacuation centre to help victims of the flood get access to their money, cash emergency-relief cheques or just assist in any way that they can,” Ms Rice said.

Circumstances permitting, options for temporary Westpac banking access are also being examined for other flood-affected town centres. However every effort will also be made to reopen Westpac branches as soon as possible in flood-affected areas which were closed for reasons other than water damage.

Additionally, a number of Westpac branches have now reopened for business in flood-affected areas:

BRASSALL Brassall S'Centre
ST HELENS Cecilia St
FOREST LAKE Forest Lake Shopping Centre
SPRING HILL Upper Edward St
TOOWONG Cnr Sherwood and Jephson St's
BEERWAH Beerwah Marketplace
SANDGATE Brighton Rd
GEEBUNG Robinson Rd Virginia
INDOORPILLY Indooroopilly Shoppingtown
MT OMMANEY Dandenong Rd
SUNNYBANK HILLS Cnr Pinelands and Beenleigh Rd
ACACIA RIDGE Beaudesert Rd
GATTON Railway St
THE GAP Waterworks Rd
NARANGBA Narangba Commercial Centre
SPRINGFIELD Centenary Highway Springfield
ASPLEY Gympie Rd
BOONAH High St Boonah
NAMBOUR Westpac House
COOLUM BEACH The Element at Coolum
HAMILTON Racecourse Rd
TEWANTIN Poinciana Ave
TOOMBUL Sandgate Rd
BRIBIE ISLAND Bribie Island S'Centre
IPSWICH Riverlink Shopping Centre
FORTITUDE VALLEY Cnr Brunswick and Wickham St
BOOVAL Brisbane Rd
BRISBANE 115 Queen St

Yesterday the Westpac Group 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, following an initial contribution of $400,000 announced on December 30 2010.

Westpac’s disaster-relief package also offers:

  • Affected customers with Westpac home loans may apply to defer repayments for up to three months.
  • Affected businesses with existing loans should contact their Relationship Manager.
  • Affected credit card customers may request an emergency credit limit increase.
  • Affected credit card customer may apply defer payments to their card for 90 days
  • Customers wishing to purchase replacement goods may apply for a personal loan at a discounted rate with no establishment fee
  • Westpac will waive interest penalties for affected customers wishing to withdraw term deposits.

Westpac Home and Contents Insurance policies provide flood cover, and affected Westpac customers with home and contents insurance may be eligible to receive assistance including emergency funds and temporary accommodation.

Westpac urges customers who wish to utilise these special relief measures or who need assistance with lost credit cards or insurance to contact their local Bank Manager or Relationship Manager or to call Westpac Telephone Banking on 132 032, Business Direct on phone 132 142, Westpac Assist on phone 1800 067 497 or for Home and Contents Insurance on 1300 369 989.