ANZ Chief Financial Officer Michelle Jablko said: “This bushfire season is having a devastating impact on the wellbeing and livelihoods of families, customers and communities.
“In releasing this package, we hope to play a role in supporting firefighting efforts as well as the economic recovery and financial wellbeing for those affected, including our customers.
“We also recognise the significant time that will be required for communities to recover from this disaster and we remain committed to helping our customers rebuild,” Ms Jablko said.
The package, which complements ANZ’s existing financial relief package announced last month, includes:
- $300,000 to volunteer fire services across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia to reflect the critical role fire agencies and local volunteers are playing. A further $100,000 will be set aside to match employee donations to volunteer fire services.
- $500,000 allocated to support local community services as well as home loan customers who have lost their homes to bushfires and are suffering ongoing financial hardship. This is additional to ANZ’s continuing double-matching of employee donations to our key community partners Foodbank Australia, The Australian Red Cross and WWF.
- A contribution to Tennis Australia’s ‘Aces for Bushfire Relief’ initiative running throughout the Australian Open.
In addition, other support being provided includes:
- Deployed specialised mobile ATMs at Bairnsdale Oval and other local centres to enable access to cash.
- Extra cash provisions for ATMs in communities bordering regions affected by fire.
- Hardship support for customers through referral and funding to appropriate community counselling services.
- Proactive contact with small business customers in affected areas.
- ANZ’s insurance partner QBE will prioritise claims and offer emergency payments and provide alternative temporary accommodation costs where needed.
ANZ’s existing financial relief package includes measures such as the ability to suspend repayments on loans for up to three months as well as temporary interest rate relief for credit card and personal loan customers in extreme financial distress.
ANZ also extended special paid leave for employees who volunteer in emergency services to ensure they are financially supported while they serve the community.
At this stage, the following branches will remain closed on Monday 6 January given impact on the fires. Regular updates will be provided via ANZ’s social media channels.
- Victoria: Bright and Myrtleford
- NSW: Batemans Bay and Ulladulla
Customers impacted can contact a dedicated hotline on 1800 149 549. ANZ insurance customers can call 13 16 14.