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Help for clients

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, December 20, 2012

THE Fiji Development Bank is offering assistance to clients that have been adversely affected by Tropical Cyclone Evan.

FDB chief executive officer Deve Toganivalu said measures included delay in repayment schedule, a freeze on interest and interest-only repayment.

"All applications for a moratorium will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and affected clients are urged to contact their portfolio officers or the branch manager nearest them to begin the process," Mr Toganivalu said.

He said they were also open to any applications for further loan assistance for the same purpose.

"We are acutely aware of our clients in the west who, as a result of the devastating floods earlier this year, have only started to show signs of recovery and had to endure yet another natural disaster within a span of months — it seems to be most cruel but we pick ourselves up and we get on with it."

Fortunately, he said no lives were lost and that was due credit to authorities who sounded the warnings early.

He said they were looking ahead at recovery and rehabilitation for people who had lost their belongings during the cyclone.

FDB branches in the Western and the Northern divisions remain closed until further notice.

Meanwhile, Westpac encouraged affected customers to meet with their bankers to discuss their financial relief options.

Westpac Fiji general manager Adrian Hughes said some customers had also just returned to their feet following the floods early in the year.

"It's a tragedy to have the damage and destruction repeated and our thoughts are with everybody affected by the cyclone," Mr Hughes said.

The bank was offering disaster relief packages during this period of rehabilitation. Affected businesses with existing loans can request deferral of principal repayments for up to six months according to Westpac.

The disaster relief package offer includes the following offers:

* Affected businesses can request restructuring without incurring the usual bank establishment fees;

* Affected customers with Westpac home loans may apply to defer repayments for up to three months;

* Affected customers with Westpac personal loans can apply to refinance their loan without incurring any establishment fee.

Customers with term deposits can also withdraw from their deposit prior to the expiry of the fixed term without incurring any early termination fee.

Westpac Fiji said it would continue to monitor weather conditions and advised its customers to listen to the radio for updates on branch openings.





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