Major banks offer relief to flood-affected customers

by Roxanne Libatique21 Jul 2021

ASB and Westpac have offered relief to customers affected by the recent flooding in Westport and Marlborough.

ASB announced that it will help its personal, farming, and business customers on a case-by-case basis with emergency measures, including:

  • Option to suspend home loan principal repayments for up to three months;
  • Overdraft of up to $10,000 for ASB home loan customers and up to $2,000 for other ASB personal customers at a reduced variable interest rate of 2.95% p.a.;
  • Access to working capital of up to $100,000 at a reduced variable interest rate of 2.95% p.a. for business and rural customers; and
  • No fees on any new working capital facility required.

ASB executive general manager for retail banking Craig Sims offered assurances that the bank will work closely with its customers and fast track any requests for emergency assistance.

“We know people are doing it tough after days of severe rain, power outages, and families and businesses being forced to evacuate. These challenges will continue long after the flooding subsides, and ASB is here to help,” Sims said in a statement.

ASB urges customers to focus on safety and get in touch with the bank when they are ready to talk about their relief options.

“We hope our relief measures will ease some of the pressure communities are facing as customers start to face the clean-up and rebuild,” Sims said.

Read more: ASB flooded with special home loan rate applications

Westpac New Zealand is also offering financial support to its personal and business customers affected by flooding in West Coast and Marlborough, including:

  • A temporary overdraft facility;
  • Suspension of principal loan payments for up to three months; and
  • Deferred payment on business credit cards for up to three months;

During the weekend, Westpac contacted staff and customers to ensure that they were safe and well-supported.

“Like the rest of the country, we’ve been watching with alarm the images of flooding and destruction, and our thoughts are with all those affected,” said Gina Dellabarca, the general manager of consumer banking and wealth at Westpac NZ.

“We’ll work with our customers to provide them support options, so they can focus on looking after each other and their property. In the meantime, we urge the public to follow the instructions of Civil Defence and Emergency services.”

Westpac’s Westport branch remains closed until it is safe for staff and customers to return.

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