ANZ customers have hit out after the bank scraps coin deposits in branches and the withdrawal of coins and $5 notes


Angry ANZ customers have hit out at the bank, claiming it has scrapped the deposit and withdrawal of smaller cash denominations in some branches.

The customers allege that ANZ branches no longer accept coin deposits over the counter and that coins and $5 notes can no longer be withdrawn over the counter.

In addition, they claim that ANZ has implemented a limit on the number of notes each customer can deposit per day in some branches.

An ANZ spokesperson told news.com.au that at its “full service branches and business cash hubs, we accept deposits and issue withdrawals of all Australian denominations of coins and notes” but that “at some of our branches our staff will no longer handle cash”.

The limitations on cash handling come at a time when Australia is facing the prospect of becoming a cashless society and debate rages around the role and provision of cash.

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One ANZ customer who contacted news.com.au claims their local branch “ceased to accept coins through tellers last year” and has more recently “placed a limit on the number of notes it will receive per day from customers”.

“As a not-for-profit we take our receipts to deposit them into our account every month – and we do get lots of $5 notes. Let’s hope other banks won’t follow suit,” the customer, who requested to remain anonymous, said.

Another small business customer told news.com.au, on the condition of anonymity, that ahead of running a stall at a local market, they visited their local ANZ branch to withdraw some $20, $10 and $5 dollar notes, and $1 and $2 dollar coins.

“I was informed by a staff member that they could help me with the $20 and $10 notes but that the branch no longer dealt with $5 notes or coins and I would have to go to another branch to get these denominations!”

The customer added: “I emailed a complaint to ANZ to be basically told this is the way banking is these days and if I wished to take my complaint further I could contact the bank ombudsman.

“My other concern is, as the banks push to make us use less cash, we are now being unfairly charged fees on our EFTPOS transactions on a personal and business level.”

Another small business customer, who also previously worked for ANZ, complained that the manager of their local ANZ branch “almost shouted at me for bringing in so much cash” from his business to deposit.

When questioned about whether they employed similar practices, spokespeople for both NAB and Westpac told news.com.au that they still accept cash deposits of all denominations and make available for withdrawal all denominations of Australian currency over the counter at branches.

A Commonwealth Bank spokesperson said that “all CBA branches accept all legal tender over the counter (i.e. Australian currency in all denominations for both deposits and withdrawals).”

In a recent appearance before the Senate at a hearing into bank closures in regional Australia, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott acknowledged that small businesses, such as those that contacted news.com.au, are the sector of the community that are predominantly using branches.

“They’re using them because it’s still a way in which they can access or make transactions with cash,” Mr Elliott told the inquiry.

Katherine Bray, managing director of retail banking at ANZ also told the Senate inquiry that cash was one of two elements that constitute the role of bank branches.

“One is transactions; it is about cash, it is about over the counter,” Ms Bray said.

In the case of ANZ, however, the words of neither senior executive appear to be backed by the bank’s actions.

The debate around the role of cash comes at a time when the share of in-person transactions made with cash halved between 2019 and 2022, according to a report released earlier this year by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

The report found that 72 per cent of Australians were classed as ‘low cash users’ in 2022, using cash for 20 per cent or less of their in-person transactions, compared with 50 per cent in 2019.

By contrast, ‘high cash users’, who use cash for 80 per cent or more of their in-person transactions, now represent only about seven per cent of Australians.

The RBA said there are several factors behind the decline of cash, including consumer preferences for electronic payment methods and the falling number of cash access points, which it said has “declined considerably in recent years”.

Banks are also facing the challenge of demand for different services differing between generations of consumers, as well as between personal and business customers.

The RBA found that customers over the age of 65 make up the largest group of high cash users, while those aged under 50 use cash far less frequently – 18 per cent of respondents aged 65 and above are classified as high cash users compared to just three per cent of those under the age of 50.

A study from workforce automation platform provider Pegasystems found that Gen Z was the most concerned with banks improving online access, with just three per cent – compared to 21 per cent of over 65s – concerned with having access to branches.

Instead, the research found Gen Z want banks to deliver an “optimal customer experience” by transparently processing requests, providing answers fast, providing more personalisation and committing to a strong focus on sustainable and environmental business practices.

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