Dozens of major bank branches across Australia are set to close within months, with the finance union expecting more than 100 jobs to be cut.
A total of 37 branches are confirmed to close over the next few months.
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What does it mean for customers and jobs?
Westpac Group has made the most significant slash, with 24 branches set to shutter nationwide.
The group says the “majority” of employees will be unaffected by the move and will go on to other jobs within the company.
Chief customer engagement officer Ross Miller said the closures are an investment in how customers are choosing to bank.
“Declining customer use of branches means that, in some instances, we may take a difficult decision to leave a branch location,” Miller told 7NEWS.com.au, adding Westpac Group services more than five million digitally active customers.
“In these instances, we continue to support our customers with access to banking services via Bank@Post, telephone, mobile and virtual banking.”
Miller said customers will be notified in advance about the changes and will be directly connected to the services they will need to continue to bank.
He said there was a “robust process” in place to help employees find new opportunities within Westpac Group, meaning “the majority of employees affected secure a new role and continue their career”.
“As we continue to adapt to our changing customer needs, this will result in new opportunities for our employees within the Westpac Group as we grow our phone, digital and virtual offerings,” he said.
NAB has confirmed it is closing nine branches, and vowed no employees would be cut.
“As more and more customers are choosing to bank online, we’ve made the difficult decision to close some branches,” personal banking executive Krissie Jones told 7NEWS.com.au.
“The branch teams have begun talking to customers about alternatives available such as Bank@post, mobile bankers, home lending specialists or business bankers who they can meet in person or via phone or video link.”
Jones said employees at closing branches will be offered jobs at other branches or elsewhere throughout the organisation.
“There will be no job losses as a result of any branch closure and we will still be there for our customers, just in different ways,” she said.
Australian Banking Association chief executive Anna Bligh says banks are investing in new digital services to meet the needs of customers, who have shifted towards online banking.
“Banks remain committed to providing banking services to every Australian, especially those in regional and remote areas,” she told 7NEWS.com.au.
“Despite more than 80 per cent of Australians preferring to do their everyday banking online, banks still have thousands of branches across the country, in addition to the banking services that banks pay to make available in 3500 Australia Post outlets.
“There will be a place for physical bank branches in Australia well into the future, but Australians are embracing digital banking with their arms wide open.”
While the banks say they are committed to supporting workers transition to new roles, the Finance Sector Union expects 182 Aussies to lose their jobs as the closures reach “crisis point”.
“This latest list of closures means the big four have closed more than 550 bank branches across Australia since January 2020,” national secretary Julia Angrisano told news.com.au.
“We must act to stop the banks walking away from communities in our suburbs and towns.
“It’s time to examine the impact of these closures which have hit hundreds of communities across the country.”
Customers at all the banks will continue to be able to access Bank@post at Australia Post Offices.
The full list of branch closures
- Westpac: Mandurah, South Perth
- Bank SA: Munno Parra, St Peters
- Westpac: Braeside, Whittlesea, Werribee, Lilydale
- Bank of Melbourne: Croydon, Coburg, Fitzroy, Sunbury, Footscray, 114 William St Melb, Mornington
- NAB: Mornington
- CBA: Drysdale, Woodend
- Westpac: Lakemba, Engadine, Corrimal, Kingscliff
- St George: Five Dock
- NAB: Lavington, Narrandera, Corrimal, Figtree, Cronulla, Maroubra
- CBA: Annandale, Toongabbie, Lindfield
- Westpac: Ashmore, Nerang, Rockhampton
- NAB: Wynnum