Working on a case-by-case basis, the bank will review the financing needs of its borrowers who run farms and other associated agricultural businesses and offer special help to those most in need. The special assistance package will include: maintaining customers' interest rate margins even if they move up to a higher risk category, free restructuring of existing loans, provision of interest-only loans throughout the drought and providing additional short term financing to help cash-strapped farmers carry on their operations.
"The agricultural industry in Australia has experienced overall income downturn over a prolonged period. This is affecting a similar number of our customers across multiple regions - while we've seen them battle against rainfall shortages before, the current challenges are profound," said Ralph Norris, CEO of Commonwealth Bank. Any Commonwealth Bank agricultural customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the drought should contact their account manager for advice.
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