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Commonwealth Bank offers assistance package to NSW fire victims

5 December 2002

The Commonwealth Bank has activated its comprehensive special emergency assistance program to help customers affected by the fires sweeping through metropolitan and regional New South Wales.

The Bank’s Group Executive, Retail Banking Services, Mr Hugh Harley, said: "The Commonwealth Bank is concerned that families and business people in the affected areas are suffering because of the fires. Accordingly, we’ve put special arrangements in place to help our customers meet their financial needs resulting from the fires".

Mr Harley said the key features of the Bank’s special assistance package included:

  • prioritisation of claims to CommInsure for customers seeking assistance for their home and contents insurance. Insurance customers should call 13 2420 (between 8 am and 8 pm any day of the week),
  • loan restructuring for business customers with existing loans, without incurring the usual bank establishment fees,
  • additional loans or changes to repayment arrangements for Commonwealth Bank home loan customers who are experiencing difficulties because of the fires. They are urged to contact staff at their local branch or the Customer Service Centre on 13 2224 (between 8 am and 10 pm any day of the week),
  • review and postponement of credit card instalments for customers of good standing and/or consideration of requests for emergency credit limit increases,
  • waiving of prepayment charges over the next month for affected customers wishing to access term deposits, Commonwealth Investment Bonds and CBFC debentures ahead of the maturity date,
  • waive branch service fees where the customer is looking to obtain a service from the Bank as a result of the natural disaster (eg draw a bank cheque to effect a payment etc).

"Our staff will be ready to discuss with customers their overall financial position, any change in repayment arrangements, or to consider options for additional loan funds," Mr Harley said.

Customers interested in the special assistance package should contact their local Commonwealth Bank branch or Relationship Manager. For general inquiries, personal customers should telephone 13 2221 and business customers 13 1998, Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm.

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