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The Australian Banking Association
Dear <<First Name>>,

ABA CEO Anna Bligh attended two ministerial forums this week to discuss bushfire support.

The first, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash, heard directly from local state Chambers of Commerce’, and discussed the impact of bushfires, support available and assistance required.  

The second, led by the Treasurer, included the role for banks, financial planners, financial counsellors, insurers and chartered accountants’ in providing financial services and financial counselling.  

ABA Chair Matt Comyn attended a roundtable led by the Prime Minister with other peak body Chairs to discuss current recovery effort priorities.

If you or someone you know is dealing with the impact of the bushfires, there are practical ways your bank can help.

Australian banks have hardship teams ready to assist farmers, homeowners, small business owners and volunteers with financial arrangements, depending on circumstances.

Assistance could include:
  • deferring loan payments,
  • waiving fees and charges,
  • helping with debt consolidation,
  • waiving penalties for early withdrawal of a term deposit or
  • deferring upcoming credit card payments and increasing emergency limits

Find your bank’s hardship team here.

Download and print the A3 Poster
Download and print the A4 Infosheet

12.30pm, Thursday, January 30, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
The ABA, in conjunction with the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, will host a panel discussion in Sydney to outline what's changed over the past year, and what still needs to be done. 
Mr Matt Comyn, MD, CEO, Chair Commonwealth Bank, Chair ABA
Ms Fiona Guthrie, AM, CE Financial Counselling Australia
Mr Ross Greenwood, Business and Finance Editor, 9 News
Mr George Frazis, MD, CEO, Bank of Queensland
The Hon. Anna Bligh, AC, CEO ABA 

🎫 Purchase tickets

Just prior to Christmas, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) gave final approval for a new version of the Banking Code of Practice 2019 that implements recommendations of the Royal Commission. 

Those changes are: 

  • Ceasing default interest on agricultural loans while farms are affected by drought or natural disaster 
  • Providing inclusive and accessible banking services to those with limited English and those living in remote areas 
  • Removing informal overdraft and dishonour fees on basic, low fee or no fee accounts for concession card holders  

Banks are required to implement these changes by March 20.

Meet ABA CEO Anna Bligh at business chamber events around Australia and hear how banks are better supporting small business, and highlights of the banking code updates.

First business chamber events for 2020 are: 

Royal Commission Legislation Consultation 
The Government is expected to consult on draft legislation to implement the Royal Commission recommendations in late January 2020. The draft legislation will be introduced into Parliament by 30 June 2020 as per the Government’s implementation roadmap.  

Compensation Scheme of Last Resort 
The Royal Commission recommended the establishment of a Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (recommendation 7.1). On 20 December 2019, the Government released a discussion paper to further explore and seek views on various aspects of the CSLR. The ABA will be making a submission by 7 February 2020. 

Financial Regulator Coordination and Information Sharing 
On 24 December, the Government released exposure draft legislation designed at improving cooperation and information sharing between ASIC and APRA. This implements recommendation 6.9 and 6.11 of the Royal Commission. The ABA will be making a submission by 24 January highlighting its support for the legislation.  

In December 2019, the ABA released a consultation seeking views on the use of credit cards for gambling. 

When gambling in a licenced venue or casino, patrons cannot use credit cards or make credit card cash advances. However, credit cards can be used when gambling online

Submit your view before March 4, 2020
Submissions can be emailed to
You can also submit via our survey .

  • The SMH’s Sarah Danckert reports on the banks' roll out of bushfire packages for affected communities. 
  • AFR’s James Eyers reports that Banks and fintechs have united in their call for a new approach to data regulation. 
  • The Daily Telegraph’s Sophie Elsworth reports that the first 3000 spots in the Morrison Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme have been filled within days. 

There are around 430,000 small businesses in bushfire affected regions.

These employ an estimated 161,100 people.


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