The head of Australia Post has urged ANZ to put its customers before its profit and sign a new agreement with the national postal service.
The Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac have each signed a new partnership agreement with Australia Post this month, which includes a new $22 million access fee to be invested in its post office network.
The deals also involve revised charges for the banks for each transaction their customers conduct through Australia Post.
Australia Post says it can no longer subsidise such services, having previously lost money by providing them on the banks’ behalf.
But Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate has told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra that ANZ does not want to sign a new agreement.
She has urged the bank’s executives to reconsider.
“ANZ, we urge you to consider your customers, the services they need in communities, before you consider your profits and what you think they are compared to other banks,” she told the hearing on Tuesday.
ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliot says the current deal is unfair as ANZ has fewer customer’s using Australia Post than its competitors, meaning the agreement’s fixed costs will hit ANZ harder.
“We just want a fair deal. We will happily pay more. A lot more,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
“We can’t pay multiple times per transaction what our competitors pay.”
But Ms Holgate said claims ANZ’s transactions will be multiple times larger than its competitors are “absolutely not true”.
“All four banks have had transparent, fair and equal treatment,” she said.
Both parties remain open to discussions, but Ms Holgate said Australia Post won’t be cutting a deal with the bank.
ANZ’s current agreement with Australia Post expires in three months.
The postal boss, who has been in the job a year, also told the hearing that the dramatic drop in the number of letters sent through the post is the biggest risk facing her organisation.
The volume of letters handled by the organisation dropped by about 11 per cent in 2017-18, delivering a $50 million hit to revenue.
“We have some major hurdles there and it’s our single biggest risk in the business,” she said.
Parcel volume increased by about 10 per cent in the same time, but Ms Holgate said it hadn’t been enough to compensate for the letter decline.