Drought Assistance and Disaster Relief
The Westpac Group remains committed to helping customers who are affected by drought and natural disasters. In response to the exceptional drought circumstances affecting many Australians, we have extended our ongoing support to existing customers under a new Drought Assistance Package. We have committed $100 million to support our farmer and agribusiness customers.
Drought Assistance Package
We have introduced the following for our Agribusiness customers:
- Creation of a $100 million fund to provide carry on finance loans of up to $1 million to existing eligible Westpac agribusiness customers at a heavily-discounted variable interest rate1
- Giving drought-impacted customers the option to defer principal and interest repayments on existing business term loans and equipment finance for up to 12 months2
- Offering an interest adjustment for our customers with Farm Management Deposit (FMD) to effectively offset FMD balances against their eligible business loans3
Drought Assistance for Protection Plans Life Insurance customers
From January – September 2019, the Drought Assistance Package was offered to eligible farmers in NSW and QLD holding Protection Plans life insurance.
Effective 1 December 2019, due to the impact of the ongoing drought, this package is being re-launched across all of Australia.
The purpose of the Drought Assistance Package is to offer premium relief to farmers while helping them maintain their existing life insurance policy. Eligible Protection Plans policyholders will receive a 3 month premium waiver on all policies, including those in super. Policies will continue to provide cover while premiums are being waived.
Eligible Protection Plans policy holders can apply for this assistance between 1 December 2019 - 30 June 2020.
For more information, please contact your local Agribusiness team, or visit your local branch.
We recognise a range of natural disasters can place financial burdens on business.
As part of our commitment to you, our dedicated team of Agribusiness regional managers will work closely with you to help provide financial solutions during these times. Part of that commitment includes a disaster relief package that may provide you with practical, financial solutions such as:
- Restructuring existing loans free of the usual establishment fees
- Offering additional finance to help cover cash flow shortages
- Freezing risk margins for primary producers who receive interest rate subsidies through government assistance schemes
- Deferring upcoming credit card payments
- Waiving early termination fees for customers who wish to access their term deposits
- Suspending home loan repayments for our home loan customers.
Community Resilience Grants
As part of the Westpac Group Natural Disaster Recovery Fund, we offer Community Resilience Grants that are available to not-for-profit organisations and community groups in drought-affected areas. Funds will be directed towards projects that help to build community resilience. Information on how to apply is available on the Westpac National Disaster Recovery Fund website.
Things you should know
- Business Loan terms of up to 3 years at a customer group level.
- During the 12 month deferment of interest repayments, interest will continue to be applied to the loan balance.
- The interest adjustment will be applied to those customers who accept the offer and will be calculated for the current financial year based on the relative balances of the farm management deposit and the eligible business loans.