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Banks offer packages to help customers affected by quake

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 6 NZPA - Banks have announced a range of packages to help customers affected by the earthquake in Christchurch at the weekend.

Kiwibank said all customers with a home loan or business banking customers who live in the Canterbury area and have been affected by the earthquake will be offered a Canterbury quake care package.

This comprises three months' repayment holiday on loans and a $1000 overdraft or increase of $1000 to existing personal overdraft or revolving credit facility.

ANZ National Bank, New Zealand's largest bank, said its package includes suspending repayments on all loans for three months, waiving fees associated with restructuring business loans considered necessary due to earthquake impacts and waiving early withdrawal costs for term deposits.

The bank which operates both the ANZ and National Bank of New Zealand brands will consider temporary adjustments to customer lending limits including credit cards to assist them to cope financially with unexpected costs arising from the earthquake.

Acting chief executive officer Steven Fyfe said bank branches were being assessed in line with Civil Defence recommendations and most ANZ and The National Bank ATMs were operating. Internet and phone banking was operating as usual.

Westpac's special relief package includes deferral of home loan repayments, a temporary overdraft and interest only payments on loans.

"We understand the financial stress these situations can cause and want to help relieve that burden for our customers. Westpac is providing a package which offers practical help by giving some immediate financial relief," said Westpac chief executive George Frazis.

BNZ said immediate temporary funding up to $500,000 is available at cost of funds to qualifying BNZ Partners' business, agriculture, property and private clients.

All fees and margins are waived for temporary funding, loan repayments can be suspended for up to 90 days and there is a waiver of early withdrawal costs for term deposits to enable customers to access cash for emergencies.

For qualifying retail and small business customers access to a temporary overdraft limit for an initial 90 day period at standard interest rates will apply. There is also a waiver of early withdrawal costs for term deposits to enable customers to access cash for emergencies and if required, penalty interest fees can be waived for late credit card payments for customers who are unable to make a deposit.

Loan repayments can be suspended for 90 days with reassessment when required.

Qualifying criteria and overdraft maximum limits apply. Some loan waivers are subject to insurance cover confirmation. Normal lending criteria apply.

ASB said its assistance package included provision of additional loans or changes to repayment arrangements for home loan and business loan customers experiencing financial difficulties because of the earthquake, without incurring the usual bank establishment or adjustment fees.

It will also allowed capitalisation of interest on home or business loans and is waiving term deposit break fees over the next month and early repayment adjustment for a fixed rate loan or business loan where a home or business has been destroyed or suffered major damage as a result of the earthquake.

A 90 day overdraft of up to $10,000 for home loan customers and $2000 for other personal customers at the variable housing rate less 1.25 percent will also assist with short term needs.

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