In response to continuing drought conditions across Queensland and New South Wales, Commonwealth Bank today reaffirms its continuing support measures for affected rural and agribusiness customers.
Geoff Wearne, Executive General Manager of Regional and Agribusiness Banking, Commonwealth Bank said: “Areas of Queensland and New South Wales are continuing to suffer from an extended period of drought and we understand the profound impact this is having on our businesses and communities based in rural and regional Australia.
“Today we want to remind our customers of the ongoing support measures we have in place for those who are affected by the drought across these states, which should provide some relief during this difficult time,” he said.
Commonwealth Bank will work on a case-by-case basis to review the individual needs of customers involved in agriculture and related businesses affected by drought.
Our drought support measures will consider a range of options including:
- A business loan or mortgage repayment holiday;
- Interest free period for an agreed term;
- Extending the business or mortgage loan term agreement; and
- Waiving fees and charges.
These measures were also offered for those rural and regional customers affected by the recent devastating fires near Esperance in Western Australia and the South Australian fires north of Adelaide.
“We have long standing relationships with our rural and agribusiness customers, many of whom run viable and successful businesses under more favourable climate conditions,” said Mr Wearne.
“We understand the unique circumstances that farmers face. It is a priority for Commonwealth Bank when working with farmers in financial distress to try and protect their farming operations.”
As part of this, Commonwealth Bank welcomes the recent establishment of the Queensland Government’s Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce, to help identify and recommend solutions to address drought challenges faced by Queensland farmers. It is also one of the 25 member banks participating in the Australian Bankers Association’s recent announcement to support drought-affected farmers on behalf of the broader industry.
Commonwealth Bank rural and agribusiness customers experiencing financial hardship as a result of the drought should contact the Business Service Centre on 1300 772 968 or their Relationship Manager.
In addition, we continue to encourage customers to contact the Department of Agriculture who provide free rural financial counselling for hardship cases. If any customer requires counselling, they can contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 1800 686 175.