Meander Valley Council will write to the Australian Banking Association and the Tasmanian Council of Social Service to address a lack of financial services after Westbury's last bank-owned ATM closed in recent weeks.
Councillor Tanya King will move a councillor question with notice at the upcoming council meeting asking the council to advocate on behalf of residents to ensure they have access to financial services.
After Westbury's last bank-owned ATM was closed, Cr King said the closure could be costly to pensioners seeking to withdraw their pension.
"This [closure] means that in Westbury, you cannot access your money from a bank account without either making a purchase, or paying a fee. If you have a fortnightly pension, and access your money once per fortnight, this could add up to over $60 a year expended on fees - more if you want to access your money more often," Cr King writes in the agenda.
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TasCOSS chief executive Adrienne Picone said TasCOSS supports fee-free access to ATMs for customers in regional and remote communities in Tasmania.
"ATMs provide a vital service, especially in areas where internet and phone banking are not always available due to a lack of digital infrastructure," she said.
"Access to cash through an ATM is not just a matter of convenience for communities in regional and remote areas, but rather a necessity. Not everyone has easy access to cash, and those who don't shouldn't be further penalised by additional fees."
An ABA spokesperson said the move was likely the result of a wider banking trend from consumers and banks trying to match consumer demand.
"Banks continue to evolve their services to meet the changing needs and expectations of their customers, including their ATM networks, which is in response to significant changes in the banking behaviours of their customers," they said.
"Data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) demonstrates the way Australians make payments has followed a consistent trend of a decline in cheques and cash and the rise of electronic payments.
"Further, withdrawals from ATMs have steadily declined over the last 20 years with advancements in new technologies and new ways for customers to access their money."
Ms Picone said that the resulting ATM fees could quickly add up for those consumers from low-income areas.
"ATM fees can quickly add up for people living on low incomes in regional communities," she said.
"Withdrawing small amounts of cash more frequently to help with managing household budgeting can mean ATM fees quickly become a large expense.
"We urge the government and financial services industry to work together to ensure fee-free ATMs are available throughout regional Tasmania."
According to the agenda, acting general manager Jonathan Harmey confirmed the council would act on this advice.
Meander Valley Council will meet on May 11.
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