The Finance Sector Union of Australia (FSU) has welcomed NAB’s announcement that it would stop closing bank branches in rural and regional areas until at least January 2021 following sustained lobbying by the Union.
FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said the union had sought and received a commitment from the NAB last year not to close any further branches in regional areas while they were affected by drought.
“This is a major win for our members and demonstrates that the NAB is finally starting to listen to its customers and staff,” Ms Angrisano said.
“We know that closing branches affects bank customers badly and puts profits before people,” Ms Angrisano said.
“Branch closures frequently leave bank staff with no alternative but to take redundancy because there is no local alternative for them to redeploy to another job with the same employer,” she said.
“We believe the NAB has acted appropriately with their customers and staff in mind by extending its commitment to keep branches open to rural and regional areas across Australia.”
Ms Angrisano said the FSU would be writing to all banks, calling on them to match the NAB’s commitment.
“Banking is an essential service and no matter where branches are located, there should be no reason to dump customers and staff and leave them to seek an alternative financial services outlet or alternative employment,” she said.
“It makes no sense to walk away from rural customers who have helped banks generate large profits over generations.”
“Bank staff also take pride in delivering service to customers who are more likely to be well known to them in rural and regional areas.’
She said the impact on local economies where banks shut down and jobs were lost was enormous.
“If Australia’s banks are to recover from the impact of the bad behaviour revealed by the Banking Royal Commission they should all be making commitments to cease branch closures.”
“This announcement provides some confidence to employees in NAB’s Retail bank currently going through a restructure that they will have a job in to the medium term.”
Media contact John Hill 0412197079