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Helping family farming customers in financial distress

These eight principles will apply when managing business lending to family farming customers in financial distress and requiring the management of our Lending Services team (Australia).  

Our Commitment and Principles

1. General Principle

We commit to engaging with you in a fair, reasonable and ethical manner. We also understand that farming is subject to seasonal conditions and external events that cannot always be anticipated.

2. Specialist  team 

Our Lending Services team has specialist Agri bankers who will work hard to build and maintain rapport and trust with you.

3. Valuations

Where we have charged you for a valuation, we will provide you with a copy of the valuation and the valuer instruction.

All valuations are conducted independently of loan origination to ensure independence between the valuation process and the loan approval process

4. Early mediation

We will offer early mediation to you within 90 days of your banking relationship being managed by our Lending Services team. This is in addition to farm debt mediation pursuant to the various state based legislation and codes.

Before we participate in early mediation, we will inform you of your right as an alternative, to make a complaint to our external dispute resolution provider, Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

If a resolution is not achieved at early mediation, we will give our consent to AFCA to consider a subsequent complaint made by you.

5. Not charging default interest

We will not charge default interest on your loan facilities if you are farming in an area that has a drought or natural disaster government declaration in force.

6. Enforcement action is a measure of last resort

We believe that enforcement is a measure of last resort after other reasonable options have been explored with you. We also believe that early engagement is in the best interest of all of us and will likely result in a better outcome.

7. Farm Debt Mediation

We support a national farm debt mediation scheme and will always offer farm debt mediation to you prior to enforcement action being taken including in states and territories where there is currently no legislative scheme.

8. AFCA and the Banking Code of Practice

Before we participate in farm debt mediation, we will inform you of your right as an alternative, to make a complaint to AFCA.

If a resolution is not achieved at farm debt mediation, we will give our consent to AFCA to consider a subsequent complaint made by you.