The Meeting Place

Westpac closing 22 branches

Westpac is closing 22 branches around Australia as it continues to put profits before customers and staff.

Days after the banks received a slap on the wrist from the banking royal commission, Westpac is up to its old tricks, abandoning parts of its branch network in a move which will severely inconvenience thousands of customers.

Westpac plans to close branches in: 

(NSW) Flemington Markets; Pennant Hills; 591 George St, Sydney; Brookvale; Sutherland; 52 Martin Place, Sydney; The Junction; Warrawong and Balgowlah. 

(Qld) Coorparoo; Broadbeach; Beaudesert.

(Vic) Kangaroo Flat; Rosanna; Lalor; Bulleen; Corio; Altona Gate; Balaclava; and Benalla.

(SA) Hallett Cove.

(WA) Osborne Park South

“Hard on the heels of the release of the Banking Royal Commission report, these branch closures send a clear message to Westpac’s customers and staff: that Westpac cares more about profits than people,” said Finance Sector Union National Secretary Julia Angrisano.

“Now should be the time that banks turn their attention to rebuilding public trust but closing branches is a kick in the guts for the community,” she said.

“We know how hard the loss of a branch hits local residents, particularly the elderly and Westpac has left them in the lurch.”

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Now let me see if I understand this? Last week the banks were the no.1 scourge of the planet. One finance journo suggested we should make them weaker so we have more control over them. HA HA HA, this week is a different story now we want them to have the high number of branches? Maybe even open more? Did I just enter the twighlight zone?

I havent read any of the reasons given by bank branch closures but imagine that it was totally unrelated to the BRC. These things are not planned overnight. About 20 years ago banks started selling off property that housed their branch activity but signed long term leases which made the propostion appealing. However, because these buildings were old, very old in many cases, coupled with changing technologies and modern workplace arrangements, the underlying objective appeared to be that the bank tenant would never take up the first or second lease option.  



It must be very difficult for some people in rural areas when banks close their doors. Perhaps the local Post Office can offer more banking prepaid debit cards and possibly have a bank representative at the local P.O.

Dozens of other countries, including Japan, Switzerland and the UK, already do it. I believe the US too.

Interesting response to the RC maybe - they don't want customers who may complain! Just shut down the Branches and hope they go away!

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