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The banks are at it again


red750
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The ANZ Bank is reported to be closing 19 branches across NSW, Vic and Qld. Hundreds of ATMs have been removed. Commbank have closed the two closest branches to me. Sometimes you need cash for small purchases. Soon the only place you will be able to withdraw cash is at the supermarket. The banks want people to use cards and electronic banking, then charge ridiculous fees for the privilege. Traders get hit with merchant fees and put minimum purchase requirements, or put a surcharge on the purchase.

 

What about cheques? They are becoming a thing of the past, but they are still in use. If you receive a cheque in the mail and there are no branches or ATM's, how do you deposit the cheque in your bank account? Not long ago I closed my Telstra account and moved my phone to the NBN in a bundle from my third party provider. I received a refund from Telstra by cheque. I had to go a few suburbs away to bank it. If the Sunrise Cash Cow calls, and I don't pick up within 3 rings, I will receive a consolation prize of $500. It will be paid by cheque. How will I bank it?

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My financial institution is a local Credit Union. They have had a branch in the same suburb for over 30 years. Not being a multi-millionaire, the Credit Union provides me with the simple services I need. They issued my Visa Debit card, so I have the convenience that provides.

 

After what came out in the Royal Commission, I wouldn't trust a bank to cash my  grandson's money box.

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1 hour ago, red750 said:

The banks want people to use cards and electronic banking, then charge ridiculous fees for the privilege.

 

Using a credit card is very much the cheapest method for me. I do pay a $50 per year.  Because I pay pay the card in full every Friday I do not have any interest charges and about 4 times a year I receive a $50 Bunnings voucher. Other benefits are that because I buy everything this way I have a good record of what I actually spend and some consumer protection.  I haven't carried cash for a few years now although I am occasionally paid some cash which is a bit of a pain.

 

As far as banking goes I do not as a rule pay any fees.  My bank only has a couple of branches and none near me, although I do believe I could transact at Auspost.  I have about 8 accounts. 7 of these have no fees but you cant transact directly from the  account so I have transaction account with a debit card (which I never use, it costs more)  This account only charges a $5 fee if you don't deposit a certain amount each month, I am not even sure what the amount is because I have never had to pay it.  

 

If you use these systems wisely you can get away with convenience and almost 0 fees.   

 

I have been helping my aged mother handle her finances as she is getting on and finds it difficult.   I never try to change what she does because she is not keen to make changes but what amazes me is how many extra fees she is pays (she still has a passbook account)    

 

I don't recall being inside a bank for at least 2 years now.

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Yes Octave, I do most of my banking on the net, transfers between accounts, Bpay etc for bills, and I use the ATM/EFTPOS card for most purchases, and usually only have a couple of odd 5c coins in my pocket. However, if I buy a pizza by EFTPOS, I have to pay a $2 surcharge. So I do the grocery shopping at Woolies, take the required cash out at the checkout and buy the pizza. I rarely buy a lotto ticket unless to include in a birthday or Christmas card, but if I pay by EFTPOS and spend less than $15.00, I get hit with a surcharge. I have to buy a Scratchie or two to reach the minimum, and hope I win the extra back.

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I find banking using a card is far easier and cheaper than having to go to my bank. I pay no fees but the bank pays next to nothing interest.

A sfar as cheques go they are a pain and I haven't used on for many years. getting  a refund cheque from Testra is almost unheard of. They ould be one of the worst companies in Australia to deal with. On a par with BOC.

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10 hours ago, red750 said:

Yes Octave, I do most of my banking on the net, transfers between accounts, Bpay etc for bills, and I use the ATM/EFTPOS card for most purchases, and usually only have a couple of odd 5c coins in my pocket. However, if I buy a pizza by EFTPOS, I have to pay a $2 surcharge. So I do the grocery shopping at Woolies, take the required cash out at the checkout and buy the pizza. I rarely buy a lotto ticket unless to include in a birthday or Christmas card, but if I pay by EFTPOS and spend less than $15.00, I get hit with a surcharge. I have to buy a Scratchie or two to reach the minimum, and hope I win the extra back.

If someone stings you with a surcharge for spending less than $15, shop elsewhere.  I can't remember the last time I got hit with a surcharge, even for a cup of coffee.

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The worst part of our current banking setup, is the way the Big Four Banks keep on buying up all the smaller banks, thus ensuring the elimination of any competition.

 

They try to say they're being run at "arms length". What a crock of s***, they must think we all came down in yesterdays shower. Now, today, I learn that BOQ is taking over ME Bank.

 

The banking competition regulator is asleep at the wheel in this country, they're merely a "token" regulator, rubber-stamping everything the banks want.

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Yes, the Aussie regulator has not come out of the Royal Commission with their reputation in tact. As I understand, it was found that ASIC actually roped in one of the big 4 (was it NAB?) to respond to information requests, or draft press releases or something... No doubt this was more normal than uncovered.

 

As far as keeping banks one has just taken over at arms length - OT, they can do it... but why would you buy an income stream and customer book and not seek to maximise the profits by seeking synergies, particularly in the middle office (Compliance, Risk Management, etc) and back office (payments/settlements, operations, custody, etc) without merging those and operating them together.. as well as the boards, CxOs, etc?

 

Also, unless Australia diverges from the rest of the world, Bank of International Settlement rules on risk management basically require risk is aggregated at the group level; not the entity level (thoug many banks to aggregage at the entitiy level, it is usually then aggregated at the group level). In this context, risk is working out what capital is to be held by the banks.. In the bad old days, what banks could do or iriginate their risk through many of their entities, but park it in one or two entities ... This would relieve the bank from calculating and grossing risk across the entire group, which although meant one or two entities had to hold high capital - it wasn't as much as if it was spread across the group. As soon as the assets in those couple of high risk entities started to fail (e.g. bad performing loans, financial instrument losses, etc), they would fail those entities and it would not impact the rest of the bank's groups. BIS, who are effectively the police of the central banks, decided that this had to change.

 

So, if you've got to bring that risk into your group, you are going to want to manage it.. and that will mean more direct control.

 

Plus CEOs. COOs, CFOs, etc just can;t help themselves....

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This is not new. I started with the Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd. pretty much out of high school. Worked for them for 29 years until the merge-over (take over disguised as a merger) with the Bank of New South Wales to form Westpac, in 1986. No prizes for guessing the senior partner. They didn't need two branches in every town or suburb, two computer centres, etc. Guess which bank's staff got shafted. (I was one of them.)

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