Bankwest’s decision to close a large number of branches in NSW, Queensland and Victoria will do nothing to rebuild the bank’s reputation.
Bankwest is a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank and today’s decision is designed to maintain the CBA’s profits at the expense of customers and jobs.
Finance Sector Union National secretary Julia Angrisano said the Bankwest announcement to close 68 per cent of its East Coast branches had come as a major shock to the bank’s employees.
“For an entire branch network to almost disappear overnight will have lasting impacts on Bankwest employee, their customers and the communities in which they belong.”
“These closures will hit local communities hard and bank workers will be struggling to find other work in areas where jobs are scarce,” Ms Angrisano said.
“Banking is an essential service, and customers rely on their bank having a branch that they can access. When a branch closes, it impacts on bank workers, local communities and regional economies.”
The Finance Sector Union is working with its members and the community to build an industry plan for the future of the finance sector. A guiding principle for this plan is that banking is an essential service to both bank workers, and the communities that they serve.
“Instead of closing branches the Finance Sector Union is calling on the CBA and Bankwest to properly consult with its workers and communities about the future of its branch network before taking decisions to abandon branches.”
“Banks have an obligation to the communities that support them. In this case, the sheer number of closures says the CBA and Bankwest care more about profits than people.”
“We believe the CBA and Bankwest should be concentrating on repairing its culture and standing in the community instead of dumping customers and staff.
“It’s time for the CBA and Bankwest to repay the loyalty of its customers and workers by genuinely giving them a voice in the future of the branch network.”
Media contact John Hill 0412197079