Brutal storms like Cyclone Gabrielle wreaked havoc across the North Island early this year, and left agribusiness owners dealing with massive damage to their land and infrastructure, and huge disruption to business.
It was a devastating time for so many, with communities, Government, business leaders and banks providing help in the aftermath of both Gabrielle and the devastating Auckland floods. Government provided a support package worth more than $1 billion, while banks stepped in to provide fee waivers, product discounts and donations to disaster funds.
Today, Canstar is proud to name its Bank of the Year, Agribusiness. It’s a bank that stepped up when its agribusiness clients needed support, and one that also offers consistent, day-to-day excellence across its network of branches, transaction account offers and loan products. This year’s winner has won the award every year it has been awarded since 2012. Canstar’s winner for 2023 is ANZ New Zealand!
Jose George, Canstar New Zealand General Manager, said ANZ was a clear frontrunner in the field. And this year, with the sector facing a crisis, it showed its leadership.
“Agribusiness is a vital part of our economy, and this year’s awful weather events have been incredibly difficult for so many. Banks are hugely important partners in agribusiness, given its significant overheads and infrastructure costs. A bank’s response to crises like major weather events can make or break a business.
“That’s why we celebrate the banks who actively support their customers, and that’s why we are announcing ANZ as our winner today. ANZ stood out for its generosity to customers, including a support package offering nearly $10 million in interest-free overdrafts.
“Congratulations to ANZ for its leadership in this space – it’s so important for all of New Zealand.”
“The impact of this year’s weather events can’t be understated, but despite this we’ve seen extraordinary resilience from our business customers,” said Lorraine Mapu, ANZ New Zealand’s Managing Director – Business.
“We are committed to supporting their recovery, and are proud to have been able to help, including making $250 million of low-interest lending available through our Business Regrowth Loan.”
“This has helped business customers by removing some of the cost barrier, and by giving them the confidence to rebuild and to re-invest in their businesses – so they are more resilient and sustainable in the future,” said Mapu.
Canstar’s panel also noted provisions offered by other banks in the aftermath of the cyclone, including ASB’s $2 million donation to the Red Cross disaster fund, BNZ’s discounted products and payments to customers in hardship and Rabobank’s waiving of fees and deferred payment arrangements.
Canstar uses a bespoke methodology to find its Bank of the Year, Agribusiness winner. Its expert panel considers several elements, including an industry submission in which participants outline their initiatives across a range of key trends for the sector.
This year, the trends identified were sustainable farming, social empowerment, financial hardship support and succession planning. Five providers were assessed before ANZ was declared the winner.