Statement responding to comments by the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)

Australia Post continues to have ongoing and positive discussions with many banks and financial institutions in regard to supporting our [email protected] service. We believe this is an essential service to ensure all Australians have access to basic financial services.

The members of COBA who use our [email protected] service are being asked to continue to support this service in our Community Post Offices. We have asked these financial institutions to pay a Community Representation Fee (CRF). The fees offered reflect their level of usage of the service. For many of these smaller institutions the [email protected] CRF is just $25,000* pa or around $7.15* per Post Office. In return they get access to 3500 Community Post Offices providing this service to their customers.

This compares to the $20 million* CRF agreed to by CBA, Westpac and NAB.

Group Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director Christine Holgate said the [email protected] service lost $48 million last year.

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“The service required significant investment and we needed to ensure we paid our Licensed Post Office Partners fairly for the work they do. Australia Post was faced with two options, to either close the service or seek fair pricing, as neither Australia Post or our Licensed Post Office Partners can afford to continue to subsidise this important service,” Ms Holgate said.

“I welcome COBA’s acknowledgment of the value of [email protected] and the need for this essential service to be protected.

“The majority of these institutions are being asked to pay a small fraction of one percent of the larger banks and they get the same benefits of accessing the 3,500+ strong Post Office network.

“For many of the mid-tier and smaller banks [email protected] means they do not have to bear the cost of investment in a branch network but they benefit from the reach and trust of our Community Post Office network.

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“I remain very grateful to CBA, Westpac and NAB, as without their support we would not have been able to keep this service. I believe this service is critically important, particularly in the 1,550 communities where there is a Post Office and no bank branch. Their support has been essential in supporting the future prosperity of Post Offices.”

The Community Representation Fees will enable urgent investment in the Post Office network, including upgrading security and information technology. They will also allow Australia Post to pay Post Office operators fairly for providing the service, the majority of whom are community-based, small business people in rural and regional Australia.

*Ex GST

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