Face-to-face banking services will dwindle again for ANZ customers in the Shoalhaven on January 14.
ANZ is withdrawing its banking facilities at Australia Post offices.
The bank’s decision comes after Australia Post increased the cost of processing transactions by $22 million per year.
There are two ANZ branches in the Shoalhaven – Nowra and Ulladulla.
ANZ customers in Bawley Point and Kioloa will be forced to drive a 60-kilometre round trip to Ulladulla to undertake their banking, learn how bank online, or change banks, as ANZ is the only major bank to cut the service.
Customers in Sussex Inlet will be forced to drive 80 kilometres to either Nowra or Ulladulla.
On Wednesday, a woman living in Culburra Beach who has banked with ANZ for 19 years told Fairfax Media the frustration was palpable among elderly and disabled residents who cannot drive into Nowra.
The customer, who wished to remain anonymous, said this did not wash with Culburra residents who rely on the post office service.
“I have spoken to a number of people in town who feel very strongly about this change, many have said they will close their account with ANZ,” she said.
“Do you think this action is in the interest of the people who are ANZ clients, or is it just self-interest?
“ANZ has published its wonderful profits in the past few years and the extravagant payments to senior executives, so it would appear that money is not the chief problem.
“I have observed so many elderly people use this facility all around Australia, there must be many thousands of people who are unable to get to major centres to their local branch. These people are very grateful to be able to visit their local post office and not have to travel 20-40km.”
The funding deal impacts 1550 communities across Australia, largely in rural and regional areas, which have a post office but no bank branch.
Nearly every town and village in the Shoalhaven has a post office of some description.
Australia Post has a presence in areas other than Nowra and Ulladulla including Sanctuary Point, North Nowra, Shoalhaven Heads, Sussex Inlet, Culburra Beach, Nowra East, Berry and Vincentia.
In a statement to the Register a spokesperson for the ANZ said the company would help customers to adjust.
“ANZ is committed to NSW and early next year we will announce a number of additional options to help our customers with basic banking transactions, such as cash and cheque management,” they said.
“We have been talking to our customers that rely on Bank@Post about the different ways they can do their banking. Many of the day to day transactions our customers make at Bank@Post can be completed through other options such as ATMs, online and mobile banking.
“We also have small business, mobile lenders and Agri business bankers in many areas that are available to help customers when and where it is most convenient for them.
“For all customers who are unsure what this change might mean, we encourage them to call ANZ on 1800 469 725.”