The banking industry supports the government’s recently announced affordability assessment exemption for customers affected by the recent damaging weather events.
“Banks want to provide as much support as possible to those affected by the recent weather damage in the North Island,” says Roger Beaumont, chief executive of the New Zealand Banking Association – Te Rangapū Pēke.
“The temporary exemption to some of the affordability requirements in the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act will assist banks to speed up the finance application process for those who need it.
“Banks will be able to use the exemption and make decisions depending on the customer’s circumstances.”
Banks can apply the exemption to overdrafts and home loan top ups of no more than $10,000. The exemption ends on 31 March 2023 and is only currently available to those negatively impacted by the floods in the upper North Island in January and February. The government says it will be taking a further exemption to Cabinet on Monday which would mean everyone affected by the floods will be covered.
Anyone affected by the floods who needs assistance should contact their bank.
“Speeding up the lending process will help customers in need. We appreciate the government’s pragmatic approach to this exemption,” says Beaumont.
“In addition to this temporary exemption to some of the lending requirements, banks have also been offering customer support including cash payments, reduced loan repayments, waived fees, access to term deposits, and donations to flood relief funds.”
The amendment to the CCCFA regulations is available at https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2023/0007/latest/whole.html.