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Media releases

Westpac provides Disaster Relief Package following QLD and NSW floods

 

6 February 2012

Westpac has announced the details of its Disaster Relief Package to assist customers affected by the flooding in the southern region of Queensland and in northern New South Wales, including the towns of Mitchell, Roma, St George, Charleville Narrabri, Wee Waa Gunnedah, Burren Junction, Rowena and Tamworth.

Westpac Group Executive for Retail and Business Banking, Jason Yetton said the bank has put together a package which offers practical help by giving immediate financial relief to affected customers.

“Our thoughts really go out to those who have been hit by the floods and Westpac stands ready to help anyone who has been affected,” Mr Yetton said.

“I’d like to assure Westpac customers that our Home and Contents Insurance policy does cover floods across all levels of cover - and we are committed to helping you get back on your feet as quickly as possible. Our insurance team will use practical common sense in assessing your claim. You can submit a claim even if you can’t access your property.

“Westpac also has an emergency relief package for our affected customers. This package includes deferral of your mortgage and credit card payments for up to three months, the ability to withdraw from your Term Deposit without any interest penalties and other benefits to get you back up and on your feet.”

“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 Yetton said.

Mr Yetton said that he had reports of numerous Westpac staff pitching in and supporting their community during the flood crisis, including helping move sandbags, reopening branches at the earliest opportunity, helping with food drops and volunteering time at rescue centres.

Westpac Head of Commercial and Agribusiness for Queensland, Rod Kelly and his counterpart in New South Wales Stephen Hannan are encouraging business and farming customers who had been hit by the floods to contact Westpac to discuss their situation.

“As always we are here to support our customers through good times and bad, and to help them manage the impact of the floods on their finances,” Rod said.

The 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 penalties 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 Telephone Banking on 132 032, Business Direct on phone 132 142, Westpac Assist on phone 1800 067 497, or alternatively call their local Bank Manager.

Donations can be made to support communities affected by the floods through The Salvation Army's Australian Disaster Relief at any Westpac Branch, by going to www.salvos.org.au or calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).