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Reason Australia Post denied man’s $50 cash withdrawal in town with no banks or ATMs

HSBC customers can no longer access banking services at their local Australia Post office, leaving some customers with no access to cash.

Aussies are being forced to rely on their local Australia Post office to access cash, as banks and ATMs shut down across the country. But with some banks removing this option, customers are being left completely in the lurch.

Hareth Tayem lives in Robertstown, a rural town in the Mid North region of South Australia. There are no banks or ATMs in the remote town, leaving the post office as the only option for residents to withdraw cash locally.

Tayem told Yahoo Finance he went to withdraw $50 cash yesterday, only to find out his bank, HSBC, no longer had a banking arrangement with Australia Post.

Hareth Tayem and Australia Post
HSBC customer Hareth Tayem can no longer using banking services at his local Australia Post, the only cash access point in town. (Source: Supplied/Google Maps)

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“I went to put my card in that I normally use to withdraw some cash and it said, ‘Card not recognised’,” the 45-year-old actor and talent manager said.


Australia Post currently has relationships with more than 80 banks and financial institutions, including Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB, which allow customers to make deposits, withdraw money and make balance enquiries at participating post offices.

HSBC joins major bank ANZ who withdrew Australia Post banking services for customers in 2019. The change for HSBC customers came into effect on April 11.


Only option '20 minutes away'

Without Australia Post services, Tayem said his nearest cash withdrawal option is at a supermarket a town away in Eudunda.

“The only option I have is to go to the next town 20 minutes away and kindly ask the checkout at Foodland to withdraw a maximum of $50,” he said.

The problem is the supermarket doesn’t always have enough cash at hand - particularly when there are garage sales in town - and can’t guarantee customers can make $50 cash withdrawals.

A HSBC spokesperson told Yahoo Finance there had been a decrease in customers using Bank@Post services.

"After significant consideration of how our customers are banking with us, we have made a decision to discontinue HSBC banking services at Australia Post," the spokesperson said.

"We have seen a reduction in the number of customers utilising banking options at Australia Post outlets, particularly as our customers embrace digital banking solutions.

"HSBC is committed to supporting customers through this transition. Customers can use our online banking service, either via the HSBC website or app, telephone banking or visit one of our branches."

Bank closures put pressure on AusPost

Bank closures in regional and rural areas are putting pressure on Australia Post’s more than 3,400 Bank@Post outlets, including more than 1,800 in rural and remote locations.

The postal service revealed during estimates earlier this year that it was spending around $4,000 a week to fly cash out to Coober Pedy, a regional mining town in South Australia where the nearest bank is 500 kilometres away.

The postal service’s chief executive Paul Graham told senators this was “not sustainable” and called on Australian banks to work with it to ensure Aussies had access to cash.

“That’s not what we were set up to do, and the banks need to be cognisant of their community responsibility and work with us to ensure that communities that do have a need for cash … that those services are made available,” Graham said.

A total of 424 bank branches - or 11 per cent of overall branches - closed in the year to June 2023, APRA data found. This included 122 branches - or 7 per cent - in regional or remote areas. A further 718 ATMs were closed or removed over this time period.

It comes after pro-cash advocates staged a “protest”, with people flocking to banks and ATMs to withdraw cash and rally against the country going cashless.

Cash ‘keeps community going’

Tayem told Yahoo Finance he was worried what the lack of cash options would mean for his town’s older residents, with many of the population aged over 60.

“I’m 45 and have a car and can drive to Adelaide if I need to and stock up. But my heart goes out to all the other citizens that are here,” he said.

He believes cash is essential for the community and to keep local businesses running. Tayem was actually withdrawing cash to pay a neighbour for a recent garage sale and another for eggs.

“It’s what keeps this community going,” Tayem said.

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