ASB to give $2 million to Red Cross New Zealand Disaster Fund

19 February 2023

ASB has today announced a $2 million donation to the New Zealand Red Cross New Zealand Disaster Fund, further boosting its support for communities and customers devasted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

ASB Chief Executive Officer Vittoria Shortt says ASB will support communities and customers now and in the future, as impacted regions manage the immediate crisis and begin the long recovery process.

“The devastation we’re seeing, and the stories we’re hearing from our customers and the ASB team on the ground in Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti and across the North Island is sobering. Our hearts are with everyone affected by this crisis.

“While the scale and devastation of the floods is still being understood, it’s clear significant funding and support is going to be required help these regions get back on their feet.

“It’s been incredible to see the hard work already underway in impacted areas and we’re encouraging other organisations, and any Kiwi in a position to help, to get behind the New Zealand Red Cross or other efforts such as local mayoral relief funds.”

Ms Shortt also wants to remind ASB customers of the financial support available to them.

“We want all ASB customers to know help is available. If you’ve been affected by recent weather events and you’re worried about immediate access to money, or how you’re going to pay your mortgage – please call us so we can help.

“In particular we’d encourage ASB customers whose homes are uninhabitable to reach out about the ex-gratia payments we have available – these can be processed fast and they don’t need to be paid back. So far we’ve paid more than $1 million in $2,000 grants and we know there are many more customers who will be eligible for this support.”

ASB’s Napier and Hastings branches are open today and throughout the week from 10am-2pm to assist customers requiring urgent banking services. An around-the-clock effort is underway to reopen ASB’s Gisborne branch from Monday, including installing satellite communication to enable the local team to support customers with cash and critical banking needs.

ASB team members on the ground are doing their best to assist those who need help most. We’re asking customers to be patient, and to please reach out to ASB’s Contact Centre or use online banking services where possible.

ASB customer support available

ASB’s $2 million New Zealand Red Cross donation is in addition to the financial relief the bank is providing customers, including a one-off grant of $2000 for ASB customers whose homes have been red or yellow stickered. Similar support is available for business customers whose business has been significantly impacted by weather events.

Eligible personal customers can also access a temporary overdraft to support with weather related expenses or hardship at 0.01% pa* - up to $2000, or $5000 if they are a home loan customer.

ASB also has broader financial support available for weather impacted customers, including the option to suspend home loan principal repayments for up to three months and targeted solutions for eligible business and rural customers, including access to working capital of up to $100,000.

Customers requiring additional financial support, including those wishing to apply for a temporary overdraft, should speak to their relationship manager or call 0800 272 735 (option 3). For more information on customer support measures visit Extreme weather support l ASB

*This equates to 20 cents interest on a $2000 overdraft over a 12-month term. Due to technology constraints the interest rate cannot be set at 0%. We are working to address this.

Note to Editors:

The New Zealand Disaster Fund will be used to support the work of New Zealand Red Cross on the response and recovery to Cyclone Gabrielle, providing essential supplies such as stretchers, blankets, bedding and hygiene kits, deploying satellite phones, generators and other equipment. This also includes providing crucial psychosocial support and practical help to those who have been forced to leave their homes.

The fund will also be used by New Zealand Red Cross to help New Zealand communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from future emergencies and disasters. This includes:

  • initial and ongoing response
  • replacing supplies and equipment
  • community recovery
  • preparing for and building capacity to respond to future emergencies and disasters, and
  • partnering with others to help meet communities’ needs associated with emergencies and disasters.

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