Westpac has offered up one year of mortgage repayments to customers who have lost their homes in Australia’s bushfires, in addition to other ongoing financial support.
Over 2,000 homes have so far been destroyed in the bushfires, which have burned through an estimated 10 million hectares of bush, forest and parks. In a statement sent to news.com.au by Peter King, acting chief executive of Westpac, it was announced that the bank will pay up to AU$1200 per month over one year to customers who have taken out their mortgage through Westpac, and who have had their homes destroyed or damaged in the fires.
"These initiatives are designed to provide practical, on the ground support for our customers, our people and for those who are caring for affected communities," King stated.
“In times of such unprecedented devastation, we want customers and communities to know we’re here to help alleviate financial concerns so they can rebuild their lives, homes and businesses.”
Westpac has already offered support through various initiatives, including payment of emergency grants of up to AU$2,000 to affected homeowners.
Other companies have also rallied in support of those affected by the fires, with Suncorp Group announcing today that it would be offering unlimited paid emergency response leave to volunteer employees called upon to assist during the emergency. It has also increased its donation to AU$500,000 to bushfire relief agencies.
“This recovery is going to take a long time,” Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said.
“As one of Australia’s largest insurers we understand the role we need to play in that process. We are committed to continuing to do everything possible to help people and communities get back on their feet.
“The dedication of our firefighters and volunteers, some of whom have been personally impacted, is extraordinary.”