The $110 million deal sees CBA sign an agreement valued at $22 million a year to support the Australia Post's Bank@Post service covering over 3500 post offices around the country, including in areas where there is no local bank branch. About 1500 communities, mostly in rural and regional areas, do not have a local bank branch.
The deal was welcomed by both the Labor Party and the union representing Australia's postal workers, with both calling for the other major banks — ANZ, Westpace and NAB — to do something similar and offer banking services in regional areas where currently no branches are operating.
Labor's Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the agreement would help deliver a fairer deal for the many post office licensees who are doing it tough.
The union representing Australia’s postal workers, the CEPU, called for the three other major banks to follow CBA's lead, with a commitment to greater investment in providing local communities with vital banking services.
The agreement is designed to improve services and secure continuing access for CBA customers to conduct withdrawal, deposit, balance enquiries and passbook services.
CEPU Communications Union NSW Branch secretary and national president Shane Murphy said the union has been pushing Australia Post to deliver agreements and services like this for a long time.
“This is a fantastic announcement – one that will be great for workers and customers alike,” Murphy said.
“The CEPU has been calling on Australia Post to push further in providing financial and other services to our communities for a long time.
“The big banks have slowly but surely deserted our local communities, and Australia Post is perfectly positioned to play a role in providing customers with the local, professional service they want and deserve.
“We want to ensure every community continues to have access to a quality physical, local retail postal service.
“The times are changing and the way we deliver services to our communities needs to change too, but the need for people to have a physical place to go and sort out their essential services hasn’t changed.”
Murphy said post offices played a vital role in local communities, not only providing jobs, but also an important local service for communities.
“This is a great move from the Commonwealth Bank. We’d hope the other big banks look at this and decide to follow suit,” he said.