The Finance Sector Union of Australia (FSU) is concerned about bank customers and staff being dumped by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) in Central Queensland as it closes another local branch.
The union has been told by staff at the Blackall-Tambo CBA branch that the bank will close on 15 June 2018.
FSU Local Executive Secretary Wendy Streets said three female part-time workers would lose their jobs because of the CBA closure, in an area where employment opportunities are scarce.
“The staff were given the opportunity to commute to the closest branch at Longreach, 200 kilometres away. The area manager suggested they could car pool but the three workers declined and were handed redundancy letters,” Ms Streets said.
“Clearly the CBA has no sense of its responsibility to the local community and to suggest staff should drive 400 kilometres a day is outrageous,” she said.
Ms Streets said the branch was open for only 4 hours a day.
The closure of the CBA branch will severely restrict access to banking services for the local community with only the Bank of Queensland and a banking agency at a newsagent still operating.
FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said banking was an essential service, especially in regional communities and customers rely on their bank having a branch that they can access.
“Instead of closing branches the Finance Sector Union is calling on the CBA to properly consult with its workers and communities about the future of its branch network before taking decisions to abandon branches.”
“We believe the CBA should be concentrating on repairing its culture and standing in the community.”
“The restoration of trust and confidence that the banks badly need to address with the community is being compromised by the numbers of bank closures, particularly in regional Australia.”
“It’s time for the CBA to repay the loyalty of its customers and workers by genuinely giving them a voice in the future of the branch network.”
She said the FSU is concerned that Australian Bankers’ Association Branch Closures Protocol does not go far enough.
“The ABA Protocol should require banks to consult with local communities when deciding on the future of their branch networks. In most cases, no community consultation is being done.”
Link to the ABA Branch Closures Protocol below.
Media contact John Hill 0412197079