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Support the campaign to save Bank@Post

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First Option is asking all members to support a crucial national campaign that affects all member-owned banking institutions across Australia.

As you may have seen in recent media reporting, member-owned banking institutions like First Option Bank have been asked by Australia Post to pay unfair and excessive fees to continue offering Bank@Post services to members.

These new fees have come as a shock to all member-owned banking institutions, especially after Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate publicly ruled out applying a Community Representation Fee (CRF) to smaller banking institutions like ours while appearing before a Federal Parliamentary Committee.

Australia Post claims the CRF is necessary to subsidise the loss-making Bank@Post service and make new infrastructure investments. The investments are said to be needed because post offices are handling greater transaction volumes and larger amounts of cash as banks close their branches.

First Option and other member-owned banking institutions are happy to pay their fair share so our members can use this service, but we should not be forced to cover costs created by the ‘Big Four’ banks.

The amount we are being asked to pay is grossly unfair, compared with what the Big Four banks have been asked to pay. First Option has been asked to pay over $50,000 per year, which represents 6.5% per cent of our net profit after tax. This is on top of higher transaction fees.

The major banks, by contrast, are paying $22 million each, or around 0.2% of last year’s profits.

As a mutual bank, 100% of our profits are used to benefit members. If we agree to Australia Post’s demands, this is money we can’t invest in better banking experiences for you or your family.

If we don’t agree, Australia Post with withhold the Bank@Post service from First Option members and it will have a negative impact on Australians as they have fewer banking institutions to choose from.

If you care about this issue, we invite you to visit fairbankingaustralia.com.au and send a letter to Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate and Minister for Communications and Arts Mitch Fifield to demand a fairer pricing system.

This is a crucial moment for competition in banking and to ensure that Australians have more than the ‘Big Four’ banks to choose from. 

Please visit the Fair Banking Australia website and send a message to Australia Post.