ANZ backs out of small bush communities
ANZ customers in Chinchilla, Miles, and Tara are relying on ATMs and internet banking after the bank's decision to pull out of its Australia Post deal.
A total of 61 bush communities in Maranoa were affected by the move, which came into effect last month, after ANZ said in a statement it was "unable to reach a fair and proportionate agreement with Australia Post”.
The news came almost a year after ANZ closed its Chinchilla branch in February 2018, downgrading it to a "business centre”.
Meanwhile in Tara there are no bank branches left at all.
Tara Futures Group treasurer and community member Jenny Abbott banks personally with ANZ and says because she has good internet service she isn't too affected by the decision, but others will be.
"If you didn't have internet service it would be a real headache,” she said.
"(You'd have) very significant problems. You'd have to travel to do anything.”
The federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, has called for affected locals to take their banking elsewhere.
"I've had a couple in Chinchilla contact me, absolutely shattered that they've supported ANZ for 60 years and now their bank's going to abandon the town through its affiliation with Australia Post,” Mr Littleproud said.
"ANZ made a whopping $9.9 billion profit last year and won't spend a measly $22 million to partner with Australia Post to guarantee local services in the bush.
"This appalling decision really shows it puts profits ahead of people.”
ANZ's general manager for Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, Tony Tapsall, said ANZ had contacted customers - to talk about alternative services for cash and cheque management - who had previously used Bank@Post services regularly in the Chinchilla, Miles and Tara regions.
"For all customers who are unsure what this change might mean for them, we encourage them to call us on 1800 269 484 or contact their relationship manager to find out about which options best suit their needs,” Mr Tapsall said.
"Many of the day-to-day transactions ... conducted at Bank@Post can be completed through other channels, including ATMs, online and mobile banking.
"We also have small business, mobile lenders and Agri business bankers in many areas that are available to visit customers when and where it is convenient for them.
"Some other alternative services for commercial customers affected include cheque mailing.”
For Mrs Abbott, the decision is indicative of big banks moving to abandon small towns.
"It's the beginnings, isn'tit,” she said.
"And we're not privy to know exactly what the end will be, and if it's all an economic decision, well, no doubt we will get less and less services.”
The Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac have each agreed to pay $22 million to continue their partnerships with Australia Post.