Key welcomes bank's $250 million quake relief fund

4:07 pm on 26 March 2011

The ASB Bank has set up earthquake relief funds worth $250 million to help with recovery efforts in Christchurch.

Homeowners with ASB mortgages will be entitled to a six-month mortgage holiday and a subsequent interest rate discount.

Small to medium businesses will not have to pay interest or principal for a year, with a discount on interest rates in the two following years, through a fund worth $100 million.

And a second $100 million fund has been set up to encourage new businesses into Canterbury.

The fund will provide loans with no interest or principal to repay in the first year, followed by an interest rate discount for two years.

John Key hopes other banks will consider launching similar relief packages. He says ASB's packages are bold and exactly what is needed.

Community groups who have suffered loss or damage will be able to apply for $10,000 grants from a $1 million fund to help rebuild communities.

The ASB says it will also establish branches at Rangiora and at Barrington Mall in the suburb of Barrington to help boost confidence in the region and show it has faith in its recovery.