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Media releases

Westpac extends Disaster Relief Package following Cyclone Yasi

 

3 February 2011

Westpac has extended its Disaster Relief Package to assist customers in North Queensland who have been seriously affected by Cyclone Yasi.

This package includes (but is not exclusive to) the cities and surrounding districts of Cairns, Cooktown, Townsville and Innisfail, as well as the local government areas of the Mackay Regional Council, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Tablelands Regional Council, Charters Towers Regional Council, Burdekin Shire Council, Cook Shire Council, Hinchinbrook Shire Council, Whitsunday Regional Council, Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire, Wajul Wajul Aboriginal Shire, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire, Croydon Shire, Etheridge Shire, Mckinlay Shire, Richmond Shire and Flinders Shire.

This financial relief package is in addition to Westpac’s existing disaster-relief package assisting people affected by the recent devastating floods across Queensland, and complements Westpac Home and Contents Insurance policies which provide flood cover for both riverine flooding and flash flooding as well as cyclone damage caused by ‘storm surge’ and ‘action of the sea’.

Westpac has put together a package which offers practical help by giving immediate financial relief to affected customers.

“Westpac will be there ready to help anyone who was hit by Cyclone Yasi,” Westpac Regional General Manager FNQ Jason Garner said.

"I encourage all affected Westpac customers to talk to their local Bank Manager so that we can assist with any financial headaches caused by this natural disaster.”

Mr Garner said that mobile Westpac bank branches based in Cairns and Townsville would allow customers to access cash and perform basic banking services even if all existing branches were unable to reopen following the cyclone.

Westpac Regional General Manager North Queensland Sarah O’Brien said that business and farming customers who had been hit by the floods should not hesitate to contact Westpac to discuss their situation.

“At Westpac we will always support our customers through good times and bad, and to help them manage the impact of Cyclone Yasi on their finances,” Ms O’Brien said.

“In addition, Westpac Home and Contents Insurance policies provide flood cover, and we want you to know that assistance is just one phone call away.

“If you’re impacted by the flooding, you may be eligible for emergency funding and temporary accommodation and we’re ready and waiting to assist you,” Ms O’Brien said.

“To claim on your policy, simply call us on 1300 369 989 – this is the fastest way to claim, and you can call us even if you haven’t been able to return home.”

Westpac’s disaster-relief package offers:

  • 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 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 rate adjustments for affected customers wishing to withdraw term deposits
  • Affected Westpac customers with home and contents insurance may be eligible to receive assistance including emergency funds and temporary accommodation.

Westpac customers who wish to utilise these special relief measures or need assistance with lost credit cards or insurance should contact Westpac on 132 032 for consumers or 132 142 for businesses, or Westpac Assist on phone 1800 067 497or their local Bank Manager. Insurance customers should contact 1300 369 989.

For an up-to-date list of Westpac branch closures, storm-affected ATMs and insurance information, go to www.westpac.com.au/disasterupdate.