Safe as a bank? Coles stops Armaguard cash deliveries over business fears, then reneges

Coles has resumed deliveries of cash through Armaguard after company signalled it was confident of staying financially viable in the long term..


Mar 28, 2024, updated Mar 28, 2024

Concerns about Armaguard, a subsidiary of Lindsay Fox’s Linfox, had prompted the supermarket giant to pause all currency orders until April 5 and reduce withdraw limits from $400 to $200.

However, deliveries to Coles restarted by Thursday afternoon.

“Coles can confirm that normal cash collection and processing services from Armaguard have resumed,” a spokesperson said.

“Customers can continue to pay with and withdraw cash at Coles supermarkets and liquor stores this weekend and ongoing.”

In late October, Armaguard approached some of the nation’s biggest retailers and banks to request a cash injection to keep providing distribution services after its merger with competitor Prosegur was approved.

On March 19, the big four banks, Wesfarmers, Coles, Woolworths and Australia Post offered a package in the vicinity of $26 million that included some conditions.

It was enough to support the company for about six months and there was no expectation for it to be repaid.

The group wanted an answer by Thursday afternoon and it is understood Armaguard is yet to formally respond.

However, the cash business sought to reassure customers it will continue to operate as normal.

“Armaguard confirms it is working constructively with all its customers, including its retail customers, banks and other key stakeholders regarding both short-term and long term financial solutions for the industry to remain sustainable,” chief executive Mick Cronin said in a statement.

“Armaguard continues to operate its full suite of services and is confident that over the coming months, it will get the business onto a long term sustainable footing with appropriate support from the industry.”

It comes after Armaguard representative Bill Kelty met with Reserve Bank Governor Michele Bullock and senior figures from Australia’s banking industry on Wednesday in a bid to find a solution to the company’s woes.

The Transport Workers Union, which represents about 700 Armaguard workers, called on the business’ clients to find a solution.

National Secretary Michael Kaine said workers needed certainty.

“The (union) is engaged in ongoing discussions with Armaguard to protect workers,” Mr Kaine said.

Linfox has been approached for comment.d

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