An Australia Post ‘people’s bank’—a win-win solution for the nation
The best way to rein in the corrupt banking power of the Big Four is to re-establish a public alternative. Australia has not such a public bank since Paul Keating and John Howard privatised the Commonwealth Bank in 1996.
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Recruit your community—pass the CPSB resolution!
The Citizens Party has drafted the following resolution, which we urge all Australians who support a post office people’s bank to take to their local council, chamber of commerce, union branches, political party branches, indeed any community organisation, and ask them to endorse the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill:
NAME OF ORGANISATION [council, union branch, political party branch, church, other body]
- notes that:
- Bank branch and ATM closures are leaving many communities without access to financial services, especially in regional Australia;
- Since 1975 the number of bank branches in regional Australia has fallen by more than 60 per cent, and there are more than 1,500 communities across Australia with no bank branches at all;
- A large proportion of the population, including the elderly, disabled, small businesses, and local schools and charities, will always have a need for face-to-face financial services, despite advances in technology;
- For hundreds of communities, their only access to cash and financial services is through Bank@Post at their local post office;
- Bank@Post is an essential service to all communities, but is vulnerable to commercial decision-making by the banks, which can choose to withdraw their participation, and charge excessive fees on transactions;
- With four major banks controlling 80 per cent of the financial system, Australian consumers suffer from a lack of real banking competition;
- calls on the Commonwealth Parliament to pass the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill to establish a post office people’s bank, fully guaranteed by the Commonwealth, as a dedicated postal savings bank, operating exclusively through Australia Post’s corporate and licensed post offices, which will ensure basic banking services—including deposit-taking, business and personal lending, and access to cash—are available to all Australians, and will contribute to Australia’s national economic development.
The Senate’s Australia Post inquiry report, tabled in Parliament on 15 June, was the culmination of the amazing campaign to support Christine Holgate and the thousands of Licensed Post Offices (LPOs) she saved with her 2018 banking deal. That campaign brought home the need for a permanent solution to secure the long-term viability of LPOs and guarantee banking services for all Australians, which is a post office “people’s bank”. It’s time to expand the campaign to unite Australian communities in support of the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill 2021, which the Citizens Party has drafted in cooperation with other parties to be introduced into Parliament in the near future.
A public postal bank would have many benefits, including breaking the monopoly of the Big Four banks over Australia’s financial system. For that reason, expect the major banks to try very hard to stop it. The banks’ opposition can be overcome, however, by building a groundswell of grassroots support to force Parliament to pass the bill. The good news is that there is already broad support across all parties for a postal bank, which a grassroots campaign can unite and turn into action!
Postal banks are very common—and popular!—around the world, and there is currently a parallel campaign for a postal bank in the United States, which is being supported by a grassroots movement called A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service (watch this short explanatory video by actor Danny Glover) involving more than 90 national organisations and a myriad of local community organisations. We have the same potential in Australia to unite all communities and organisations that use and value local post offices, and the licensees who run them, to support the postal bank solution.
Other reasons for an postal savings bank:
- the aggressive rate at which the private banks are closing their branches and ripping out ATMs because they just don’t care about the marginal profits they make from retail banking; and
- the need for a no-frills public retail bank that can guarantee banking services for all Australians, which would not be allowed to discriminate against lawful businesses through “de-banking”, and which would support the cash payments system that the private banks are trying to scrap so they can turn Australia into a cashless economy (Christine Holgate ensured the expanded Bank@Post service included a commitment to supporting cash, which is available at every post office).
A postal people’s bank is clearly both in Australia’s national interest, and is the long-term solution for Australia Post. For that reason, the Citizens Party has drafted legislation, called the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill, for introduction into Parliament in the near future, as part of a national banking system that includes a national infrastructure bank. But for this solution to work, the corruption exposed by the appalling treatment of Christine Holgate and the Senate inquiry must be cleaned out. The government and the Opposition won’t do it—it’s up to the citizens of Australia.
What YOU can do to make a difference in this campaign
1. PASS motions/resolutions in support of the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill!
Ask local representatives and organisations to endorse the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank Bill by passing a motion/resolution similar to the one above. Examples of organisations:
- Local Council
- Chamber of Commerce
- Union branches
- Political party branches
- Any community clubs and organisations
DOWNLOAD this flyer for print or email: Unite Australia in support of the Commonwealth Postal Savings Bank
2. Get these flyers out into your community. Click on the image to Download PDF for printing or attaching to email.
Some places you can take one or all of them or email them to:
- Local post offices
- Local Federal and State Members of Parliament
- Local Councils and Chambers of Commerce
- Union representatives
- Community leaders, clubs and organisations
- Local businesses, especially those operating in shopping strips or immediate proximity to their local post office or in areas that have lost their local bank/s
- Anyone who values and relies on their local post office, including banking services