30 August 2021
The Westpac Bank has notified the Finance Sector Union (FSU) that it will close another six branches across Australia.
Westpac says the following branches will close: WA – Floreat Forum; Spearwood; Murray St Perth. SA – Hutt St Adelaide. Qld – Morningside; Hamilton Island.
“It is outrageous that when parts of Australia are moving in and out of lockdowns, that Westpac can blame the fall off in customer visits to branches during Covid-19, for the decision to close,” said FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano.
“In 2020 all of Australia spent weeks in lockdown. Westpac is using customer data from last year to suggest customers no longer need a local bank branch.”
Ms Angrisano said the decision to withdraw from Hamilton Island in Queensland would force customers to use the limited services available at the local Post Office. Westpac’s closure will leave no bank branches on the island.
“Westpac is effectively abandoning its customers on Hamilton Island. They simply have nowhere else to go to access full banking services,” she said.
“This limited service through Australia Post is not good enough to service the local community because Westpac can withdraw from utilising the Post Office at the drop of a hat.”
“We believe Westpac, along with all the major banks, is showing no consideration for the millions of Australians in rural and regional parts of Australia who are progressively being deprived of the benefits of managing their finances through a bank branch.”
“The closure of bank branches and the migration of customers to digital banking has become a major cost saving strategy banks use to increase profits.”
Ms Angrisano said the closure of six branches would impact on the jobs of 31 Westpac staff and while the bank was promising redeployment opportunities, it was likely that some staff could miss out.
“Since the beginning of last year more than 350 bank branches have been closed,” she said.
Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079