NAB gives cash to bushfire victims and businesses National Australia Bank is spending $5 million on immediate relief to business and agriculture customers affected by bushfires and to support longer-term recovery and rebuilding efforts in bushfire affected communities across Australia. NAB has committed a total of $4 million to extending its $2,000 emergency relief and recovery grants to impacted business owners and farmers. NAB is donating $1 million to the Australian Red Cross and local organisations in impacted communities. NAB chief Ross McEwan said: “We want to help those affected start to rebuild, with some immediate assistance to help our customers and colleagues deal with the impact – as well as support the long-term recovery effort.” What assistance is NAB providing for bushfire affected business customers? NAB has support now available for NAB business and agribusiness customers directly impacted by recent bushfires including: $2,000 grants for reopening affected businesses, cover the cost of damaged property, equipment, fencing and for loss of stock or livestock.Up to three-year deferral of loan interest and repayments.No foreclosures for up to 3 years. $1 billion in concessional business loans Counseling for customers. NAB business and agribusiness customers can call NAB’s helpline on 1300 023 429. NAB gives cash to bushfire victims National Australia Bank customers who have lost their primary place of residence to bushfires can immediately access a $2,000 grant to help cover emergency costs. Any customer with a NAB bank account can apply for a $2,000 grant with just one grant being paid per household address. For more information and to apply for a $2,000 emergency grant from NAB, call the NAB Assist team on 1300 683 106. NAB employees who have had to evacuate their homes can get a $1,000 grant. Dedicated hardship bankers from NAB Assist team are be working in affected communities now. Can I get a bushfire grant from NAB? National Australia Bank has announced $2,000 grants for personal customers who have lost their primary place of residence to bushfires. To be eligible for a bushfire emergency grant from NAB (only one per household) you must be: A current customer or employee of NAB with at least one active account on 2 January 2020.Unable to live in your primary place of residence (rent or own) because of bushfires. All applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis with NAB Assist determining eligibility. Can I get a bushfire business emergency grant from NAB? National Australia Bank has announced $2,000 grants for business and farming customers who have lost their primary place of residence to bushfires. To be eligible for a bushfire emergency grant from NAB (only one per business) you must be: An active current NAB business trading/transaction account customer.Suffering from significant damage to income-producing assets due to bushfires. All applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis with NAB Assist determining eligibility. Information about Australian government bushfire grants Australia’s bushfires have claimed 28 lives, more than 2000 homes and more than ten million hectares of land. The federal government has set up a $2 billion national bushfire recovery fund and is giving grants to bushfire victims. State governments also have separate support and assistance programs. People affected by bushfires can apply through Centrelink for Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment of $1,000 for adults and $400 per child. The grant is for people who have been injured, lost an immediate family member or whose home has been substantially damaged. There is also an ongoing (up to 13 weeks), tax-exempt allowance equal to Newstart for individuals who have lost income as a direct result of the bushfires (income thresholds apply). First Home Loan Deposit Scheme under fire The federal government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme started on 1 January 2020 and provides a government guarantee to the banks that lend to 10,000 first home buyers a year with deposits as low as 5 per cent. The scheme has been attracting comments and criticism as the first borrowers are approved and buy their first homes. CoreLogic researcher Eliza Owen said the scheme is likely to be dominated by higher income first home buyers and that places will run out quickly. Vadim Taube, the chief executive of financial comparison website InfoChoice, said another disadvantage of the scheme is that a smaller deposit means a larger loan with higher repayments. On a $600,000 property, Vadim Taube said the extra repayments added up to more than $5,000 a year. Property prices rebound in Sydney and Melbourne In the last three months of 2019 property prices in Sydney and Melbourne recorded the fastest quarterly growth in ten years, according to CoreLogic. Across Australia, home prices rose 4 per cent during the last three months of 2019. Sydney and Melbourne prices jumped up more than 6 per cent. Vendor asking prices for houses in Sydney are back above $1.3 million and above $1 million in Melbourne according to SQM Research. Sydney and Melbourne’s inner suburbs led the price growth, reported The New Daily this week. Will the RBA cut interest rates in February? Markets are still undecided about whether the RBA will cut official interest rates in Australia in February 2020. Bushfires are a factor encouraging a February rate cut from the RBA said National Australia Bank’s head of foreign exchange trading, Ray Attrill. Yesterday, rates futures markets had priced in a 47 per cent chance of a February rate cut to 0.50 per cent, up from 42 per cent last week. Rates futures market trading over the Christmas and New Year’s period has fluctuated significantly. Traders had priced in a 60 per cent chance of a rate cut as recently as last Wednesday, the 8th January. Read more about the outlook for interest rates in 2020 at InfoChoice.