A Community Banking Hub has been established at Southern Cross University in Lismore, to provide banking services to the community in response to the devastating impact of the floods on the Northern Rivers.
Only a few months ago, a cashless society was considered the norm with mobile devices making it easy to pay for food and essentials.
But with many people fleeing for their lives in many parts of South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales this week, the cashless payment system has stalled due to damaged infrastructure and mobile services.
With no banking options available in the Lismore CBD due to flooding, five customer-owned and operated mutuals, led by Summerland Credit Union, have partnered together with Southern Cross University to provide immediate relief to the community.
“Customer-owned financial institutions, like Summerland Credit Union, are the heart and soul of their community, always acting in the interests of customers and the community as a whole. We know that in a crisis, when the community works together for the common good, it can recover stronger and faster. The decision by Summerland to set up a banking hub to restore banking services in Lismore and the Northern Rivers, not only demonstrates that they put the needs of their customers first, but it also shows the value of local knowledge in responding incredibly quickly and effectively to local need. Opening the hub up to other mutual banks and credit unions that have members in the region is a true act of co-operation, putting the people of the region first in everything they do,” said Melina Morrison CEO Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals
Additional ATMs and physical cash are getting airdropped in towns that have been hard hit by the severe floods, in an effort to help people buy goods while the systems are down and the affected banks are not yet fully operational.
NCR is supporting Summerland Credit Union, mobilising temporary banking services at Southern Cross University Lismore NSW. The ATM will be free-to-use for all cardholders linked to an Australian financial institution, with teams working around the clock to have an ATM deployed ASAP.
“We understand many of our customers may be experiencing unforeseen challenges during this natural disaster and we want you to know that we are here to help” said Summerland CEO John Williams.
“We’ve developed a Disaster Relief Package to also help our customers who may face difficulty in meeting loan repayments and need access to additional funds. Relief options include:
- Payment relief on home loans
- Free redraw on all home and personal loans
- Free replacement cards and cheque books
- Waiving fees for restructuring business loans
- Waiving fees for accessing term deposits early
To access any, or all, of these Disaster Relief options call the Summerland Credit Union Contact Centre on 1300 802 222. The Contact Centre opening hours have been extended from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday, to help support our customers through this very difficult time”, John went on to say.
The Community Banking Hub will be located at the Goodman Plaza at Southern Cross University on Military Road, East Lismore and will be open from Monday 7 March from 9am-5pm. The hub will be home to G&C Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Southern Cross Credit Union and Summerland Credit Union.