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Rural clients experiencing financial hardship or difficulty

Financial hardship occurs when you are willing but unable to meet your existing financial obligations for a short period of time. Financial hardship may be caused by a number of factors including the result of unexpected events such as a natural disaster or illness, that result in diminished or no cash flow.

As a bank founded by farmers, we understand how a few good seasons can be followed by a few tough ones and we are committed to supporting you through the good and tough times.

If you are worried about your financial circumstances, or that you may not be able to make your repayments, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can work with you, one-on-one, to develop a plan based on your individual needs.

We also understand that experiencing financial hardship or difficulty is stressful and we encourage you to talk to your family and support networks at times like this. A list of support agencies offering health and wellbeing services, is provided on our Where to get help page.

How can Rabobank help?


Farm Support

Early intervention and preventing a client’s financial situation from deteriorating is the focus of our Farm Support unit, who are a dedicated team working with Agribusiness Managers to provide support and assistance to clients facing financial difficulty. We have a genuine desire through our Farm Support team to support clients in financial difficulty and achieve a good outcome for both clients and their communities.


Support Measures

Depending on a client’s individual circumstances, we can offer a range of measures to support clients experiencing financial difficulties. These could include:

  • In person meetings to work through the challenges and a discussion of potential solutions.
  • Co-ordinating professional advisers to attend these meetings and/or support the business going forward.
  • Advising on support services or other professional agencies that can offer support.
  • Financial loan concessions where it is applicable, such as:

-  deferring scheduled principal payments

-  waiving break costs on early redemption of term deposits to allow access to needed funds

-  waiving fees on loan increases necessary for supporting business operations and working capital.

To discuss any of these support measures, or anything else related to your business, please contact your Agribusiness Manager in the first instance or email us securely using https://www.rabobank.co.nz/contact-us/


Positive outcomes for our clients

Our desire to support clients in financial difficulty has seen us achieve good outcomes for many clients who trust us to work with them and support them to resolve their financial difficulties.


Need more information?

  • If you have any questions or need assistance, please call our Client Services Team on 0800 500 933. The Client Services Team is available Mon to Fri 8am to 5:30pm.
  • As a member of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association, Rabobank follows the principles of good banking practice as set out in the New Zealand Code of Banking Practice.
  • The Commission for Financial Capability’s website Sorted.org.nz.

What other support is available?

There are other independent organisations and schemes that can help with advice and expertise in dealing with difficult financial conditions. These include:


Farm Debt Mediation Scheme

The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme is a service to help farmers facing financial problems. It supports the mental, emotional and financial wellbeing of farmers and farming families who find themselves in financial trouble. The scheme offers early intervention where the farmer or their bank are able to get a neutral and independent mediator to help them work through their debt issues.

Please visit the Farm Debt Mediation Scheme on the Ministry for Primary Industries website, or contact your Agribusiness Manager to discuss.


Rural Support Trust

Rural Support Trust covers all aspects of rural agribusiness and are there to support all rural people. As they say on their website, ‘If more than a cup of tea and a yarn is needed, we can connect with the professionals who can provide further support, including farming or business advice, financial information, health, mental health and counselling services’.

To find out more about the Rural Support Trust call 0800 787 254 or visit Rural Support.


Farm Business Advice Support Fund

Managed by Rural Support Trust, and in agreement with the New Zealand Bankers’ Association, a qualifying farmer can receive up to $6000 to pay for financial or business advice from an independent consultant. Under the fund, the Rural Support Trust will provide up to $3000, depending on an assessment of need, and we, as your bank, will match that dollar for dollar. Rural Support Trust will take an application from, or on behalf of, a farmer who might qualify for assistance. The support fund is available periodically – funded by both Government grants and the Banking sector.

To find out more about the Business Advice Support Fund, call 0800 787 254 or visit Rural Support.


Assistance for Adverse Events

The New Zealand Government provides rural assistance payments to help farmers during or after an adverse event such as a flood or drought. Further information on rural assistance payments can be found on the Work and Income New Zealand website.


Other Organisations

Other organisations that can help include:

  • Federated Farmers – 0800 FARMING
  • Dairy NZ – 0800 4 DAIRYNZ
  • Beef & Lamb NZ – 0800 BEEFLAMB
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