Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Are the banks closing accounts of newsagencies with Western Union?

Mark Fletcher
January 8th, 2018 · 4 Comments

The Australian published a report Friday claiming that banks have ended services to 100 customers (newsagents) offering Western Union services.

The rift between the small business ombudsman and Australia’s largest lenders has widened further, with Kate Carnell set to pursue the big four banks over their decision to end banking services with more than 100 customers ­offering remittance services through Western Union.

As the threat of being ensnared in a legal stoush with anti-money-laundering regulator Austrac continues to loom large, following the explosive suit against Commonwealth Bank late last year, lenders may be too aggressively ending business banking relationships with newsagents who offer Western Union services.

The report in The Australian is the first I had heard of such action being taken. I have searched online and cannot find any other reports.


Category: Newsagency management

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Matt // Jan 8, 2018 at 7:46 AM

    That was true.It happened to us almost 2 years ago.The bank suddenly advised us that they want to close the account in another 1 month. But reasons are vague and we realized that was due to Western union.We decided to stop Western Union service in our news agency after that. Becoz it was hard to manage when only one staff was at counter and when transaction was with withhold by them for customer verif. we had to waste lot of time.


  • 2 ERIC // Jan 8, 2018 at 2:54 PM

    drug dealers using WU to send money


  • 3 Paul S // Jan 8, 2018 at 11:15 PM

    I find it hard to believe most newsagents would have met all of the Austrac requirements in regard to Western Union. It’s a mountain of paperwork and compliance required.


  • 4 eddy // Jan 13, 2018 at 8:51 AM

    Completely wrong Eric and Paul s all the drug dealers and terrorists were using the Commonwealth bank by the thousands and the bank should have been shut down. On the other hand WU agents comply with Austac .. Does a bank ever ask for photo id..maybe for a loan…


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