Goodbye St George

I've been a customer of St George Bank, and before that one of the previous incarnations, Advance Bank, for many many years. Since I was a teenager. They had one of the first online banking systems, and their service has always been pretty good -- pretty good by Australian bank standards, which is admittedly a pretty low standard.

It seems they're about to be gobbled up by Westpac, one of the behemoths of banking here with a well-deserved reputation for baroque systems and surly service. St George seem to be preparing for the merger by degrading their own service.

When we moved house last December, I changed the address online and, from what I could see, it was all there. We haven't been receiving our printed statements. Earlier this year I used their online contact form to ask about this, and received no response.

Now I need those statments to reconcile mortgage payments. Online records only go back 90 days. I phoned up to have the address updated properly and request the statements, and they want to charge me $4 for each statement going back to December! They offered to send me the last two for free, which isn't very useful given I can see that online. Given I pay $6/month for my account, which includes statements, and their system fault means I didn't receive them, it's pretty bloody rich!

I've lodged a formal complaint and will see where that goes -- though given the last time I tried to contact them through the same channel (I can't find a postal address for complaints!) I received no response, I'm not holding my breath. Their response to this will determine whether they keep my business. Though to be honest, if the merger with Westpac goes through I'll be looking for another bank anyway.