Banks urged to show compassion in wake of Cyclone Marcia

FEDERAL Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said Australia's major banks have been asked to show compassion to small business owners, farmers and residents who were badly impacted by Cyclone Marcia.

Ms Landry said Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce had fulfilled a promise to local farmers to talk to the banking industry.

The promise was made when Ms Landry brought the Minister to the region to meet with devastated Capricorn Coast farmers, shortly after Cyclone Marcia.

"It has been over a month now since the cyclone hit the region, and farmers and small businesses owners are hurting, perhaps even more so now that the full extent of the damaged caused by TC Marcia has been assessed," Ms Landry said.

"When Barnaby Joyce and I met with local primary producers at the Tropical Pines packing shed in Yeppoon a few weeks ago, a promise was made to contact the major banks on the behalf of those impacted, to ask them to show compassion and to work responsibly with their clients who faced serious hardship.

"Mr Joyce has spoken to all of the major banking corporations and many of the banks have agreed to work with their customers in many areas."

Ms Landry also said many of the banks would provide a range of services to customers who were affected by the cyclone.

"Aside from talking to customers about managing their debts, many of the banks will look at providing other assistance such as waiving fees associated with early withdrawal of term deposits, waiving loan fees and charges, look at credit card and personal loan relief and others," Ms Landry said.

"Of course, the relationship between a customer and their bank is strictly a private matter, but the Minister has been happy to do what he can to make banks aware that our farmers and small businesses owners, and even some home owners with mortgages, are doing it really tough after the cyclone. As a result they require some breathing space and understanding from their banks."

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