The Commonwealth Bank is changing the way customers will be notified about their term deposit accounts.
The Commonwealth Bank is changing the way customers will be notified about their term deposit accounts.

CBA move angers consumer groups

Exclusive: A move by the nation's biggest bank to change the way it notifies customers with savings could see thousands moved to less competitive term deposit rates without their knowledge, consumer groups have warned.

The Commonwealth Bank has begun notifying customers they will be defaulted to receive electronic instead of paper communication including account renewals and reinvestment notifications unless they opt out.

Term deposit customers who meet a certain criteria will be moved across in a decision that will undoubtedly cut costs.

But consumer group Choice's spokeswoman Erin Turner has criticised the bank's decision.

"Term deposit notices are crucial for customers - they give people essential information that helps them negotiate a better deal," she said.

"It's disappointing that CBA have chosen to make customers opt out of changes to how they receive information.

"A better system would let people opt in to the format that suits them best."

When term deposit accounts mature customers who fail to take action could end up being moved on to a new term at a lower rate.

The customers that would be migrated to automatically receive electronic communications must meet the following criteria:

- They receive paper notices;

- They have a valid email address and mobile number registered on their customer profile;

- They have registered for and have used Netbank at least three times in the past month.

 

The bank’s decision has been criticised by consumer groups.
The bank’s decision has been criticised by consumer groups.

An internal memo sent to CBA staff said the reason they made the move is because they are "always looking for faster, easier and more convenient ways to help our customers with their banking needs".

"We believe these customers will benefit from this technology."

Customers can opt out of receiving electronic communications at any time.

Campaign Keep Me Posted's executive director Kellie Northwood said: "It beggars belief that companies are still committed to taking these actions."

"This push is nothing more than a cost saving exercise to CBA, Australians are becoming data entry, call centre, bank teller, print and mail services for these companies," she said.

A CBA spokesman said the changes would impact 20 per cent of term deposit customers.

The CBA bank has come under intense scrutiny in the last round of the banking royal commission this week including for incorrectly selling customers credit card insurance who were ineligible to make a claim.

The bank's bosses also reacted angrily when their bonuses were cut after a raft of scandals engulfing the bank.