The FSU has been at the forefront of Australia’s branch closure issue and have campaigned long and hard to retain banking jobs and services in regional communities. The FSU estimates over 1,300 bank branches have closed in Australia since 2016, with around 500 of these in regional areas.
Bank closures disproportionately affect small businesses, elderly customers, and those with disabilities, low digital literacy, or limited access to transport. The impact is particularly severe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in remote areas, where internet access is often unreliable.
Banks like to claim these closures are due to customer preference for digital banking options. However, we know that the banks have engineered the move to digital banking and forced customers into these options. The FSU acknowledges the banking industry’s evolution but advocates for accessibility to all communities and secure jobs for employees.