Drought affected customers will have another line of support as Commonwealth Bank joins the Federal Government’s Drought Finance Taskforce.
Having already announced a package of drought assistance measures earlier this year to support farmers and regional small businesses, the move by CBA to join the taskforce will help provide more assistance to regional communities in their times of need.
Announced today, the Federal Government’s Drought Finance Taskforce includes the Treasurer who will serve as chair, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources who will serve as deputy chair, drought special envoy Barnaby Joyce, regional Queensland Member of Parliament John McVeigh, a senior representative from the National Farmers Federation (NFF) and senior representatives from ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Rabobank and Westpac.
Speaking about this important initiative, CBA Executive General Manager of Regional and Agribusiness Banking Grant Cairns said: “We are aware of the important role we play in regional communities and supporting farmers and small businesses during a very difficult time. I look forward to being part of a broader team focused on supporting local communities in their time of need.”
Drought assistance available
Commonwealth Bank has a package of drought assistance measures in place for agribusiness and commercial business customers in affected areas. These aim to give customers some peace of mind, as well as the flexibility to make arrangements to get their businesses back on track.
“Our priority is helping those who are doing it tough because of the drought. Those customers experiencing financial difficulties should contact their Relationship Manager; phone 1300 772 968 or visit their nearest Commonwealth Bank branch,” Mr Cairns said.
Drought assistance measures include:
- Access to a confidential telephone counselling service;
- A business loan repayment pause;
- Extending the business loan term agreement;
- Not applying default interest rates on business term loans;
- Waiving fees and charges related to business loan restructures; and
- Allowing withdrawal of Farm Management Deposit funds before maturity without penalty.
Australian Red Cross partnership
Farming households impacted by the drought can also apply for a grant through the Country Women’s Association in drought affected states. Over $7m was raised through our partnership with the Australian Red Cross, who are working with the Country Women’s Association in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT to distribute the funds in the form of grants of up to $3,000 for household expenses.
“Commonwealth Bank has a longstanding history of offering emergency assistance and supporting customers in financial difficulty caused by natural disasters, flood and drought and we will continue to stand by those affected,” said Mr Cairns.