People walk past a Westpac bank sign in Melbourne's central business district on May 4, 2020. (AFP / William West)

Misleading claim circulates on Facebook that Australian bank will stop accepting cash and cheque deposits

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Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim that Australian bank Westpac will stop accepting cash and cheque deposits by the end of 2020. The claim, however, is misleading; in response to the social media posts, a spokesperson for the bank told AFP on August 12, 2020 it will continue to accept cash and cheque deposits, and that the proposed changes only affect agency banks.

The post was published here on Facebook on July 31, 2020.

It features an image that shows part of a letter titled “Update to deposit options”. The letter lists changes to "cash and cheque deposits at Westpac" which are purportedly effective from July 2020.

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post as of August 12, 2020.

The post reads: “And ......Westpac is going cashless / By the end of 2020 Westpac, an Australian bank, will no longer accept cash or cheques deposits to your bank account… Let that sink in”. 

The same claim was also shared here, here, here, here, here, and here on Facebook. It also appears here, here, here and here on Twitter.

The claim, however, is misleading.

In response to the social media posts, a spokesperson for Westpac told AFP: “There is no change to deposits of physical cash or cheques to Westpac accounts” for ordinary account holders."

“[The image in the misleading post] relates to changes to services we provide agency banks (e.g. tier 2 banks without significant branch networks and other financial institutions). The picture posted on social media was cropped in a way that excludes important explanatory information. It appears to be a communication from one of the agency banks to its customers,” the spokesperson said in an email to AFP on August 12, 2020.