Heritage responds to COVID-19

Last updated 19 March 2020

How Heritage is responding

With the COVID-19 situation continuing to evolve in Australia, Heritage Bank has reacted quickly to put in place measures to protect the health of our staff and our members, and to maintain the vital services we provide.  We've also established a COVID-19 Relief Package to assist our members facing financial difficulties because of the current challenging circumstances.

As part of our regular business continuity planning, Heritage already has a well thought out Pandemic Management Plan in place. We activated a management committee in January to start guiding how we implement the measures in our plan.

We recognise that COVID-19 is an issue requiring proactive management, while also ensuring our response is measured and appropriate.

We’re closely following the advice from Australian Government agencies to ensure our actions are in line with the best practice medical advice.

Protecting the health and safety of staff, customers and everyone we come in contact with is of the utmost importance. We’ve introduced the following measures to keep people safe:

  • We’re urging everyone to practice good hygiene, and to stay away from work and seek medical advice if they feel sick, especially with flu-like symptoms.
  • Any staff who arrive home from travelling overseas must self- isolate themselves for 14 days.
  • If people have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they must immediately isolate themselves and work from home for 14 days.
  • If people have been in close contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19, they should self-isolate and work from home for 14 days.

We’re asking our customers, contractors, suppliers and business partners to take simple precautions to help us reduce any risk of spreading COVID-19.

  • During this time, we’re asking customers not to visit our branches unless absolutely essential. Our customers are encouraged to continue their banking online or via phone instead. We've put signs in place at our branches to share this message.
  • If customers or business partners need to organise a meeting with Heritage staff, we’re offering them the option of completing their enquiry via telephone or web meeting, rather than a face-to-face meeting, where appropriate.
  • If you are a supplier or contractor whose  staff regularly attend a Heritage office location, we’re requesting they take appropriate steps to avoid or reduce the risk of exposure to themselves, our customers and staff
Following correct hygiene practices is one of the best ways we can prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • We have provided additional supplies of hand-sanitiser to all our locations and distributed information on best-practice hand-washing and hygiene practices.
  • We’re encouraging staff to more regularly clean and wipe down hard surfaces to prevent the virus from spreading.
We’re following advice from the health authorities for businesses to start adopting the “social distancing” approach. This is a way to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and enhancing organisational resilience by limiting the concentration of staff members in the one location.

Many of our administrative staff have the capacity to work remotely. We’ve asked our different departments to look at how they could fulfil our normal business requirements with a mixture of staff working from their normal locations, working from home, or working out of alternative Heritage locations. 

We have steps in place to ensure our Branches remain open as usual and our Queensland-based Contact Centre will continue to be staffed 24/7.
Assistance for our members

We know many of our members have concerns about the impact of the current situation on their financial position, particularly where an economic downturn could affect their ability to meet mortgage commitments. This is why we've established a COVID-19 Relief Package and a dedicated team to assist you through this time. Call 1300 726 100 to talk to us about the COVID-19 Relief Package today. 
Financial Hardship
Heritage has policies and processes to assist customers facing financial hardship, including a COVID19 Relief Package. 
Ways to bank with us

We have put measures in place to ensure that our branches remain open, as does our Queensland-based Contact Centre, which continues to be staffed 24/7, ready to take your call. Our administrative teams are all operational and there is no interruption to the products and services we offer. 
During this time, we strongly encourage you not to visit our branches unless it’s absolutely essential. Particularly if you're not feeling well or think you've been exposed to the virus. 

We offer a wide range of alternative banking channels, including our online banking service, our Mobile Banking App, and telephone banking. If you would like to register for these services, give us a call and we can help you get started.

Let's work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Further actions

The COVID-19 situation continues to change rapidly and we are taking it very seriously. Our management committee is meeting regularly and closely following the advice from Australian Government agencies to ensure we are enacting best-practice measures.

It’s important that we are proactive in our response and we are taking considered and appropriate actions, but not over-reacting. Working together is how we can best manage the situation on a calm and practical way.

More information

If you would like more information about the COVID19 situation, go to the Australian Government Department of Health or World Health Organization websites.