The ANZ Bank has notified the Finance Sector Union (FSU) that it is closing another six branches across Australia.
The decision, taken by the ANZ under cover of major lockdowns in three states, is a slap in the face for 33 affected bank workers who are likely to be pushed onto the unemployment queue.
“This is a heartless decision by the ANZ to close branches and impact the lives of staff at a time when bank workers are on the front line, as essential workers, helping customers manage their finances in the middle of a pandemic,” said Julia Angrisano, FSU National Secretary.
The branches facing closure are Mareeba, Qld; Loxton and North Adelaide, SA; Ballarat East, Vic; Osborne Park, WA and Sydney Airport, NSW.
“The decision to close branches will hit hardest those bank workers who during the pandemic have not had the luxury or security of working from home. These workers are predominantly women who have been working on the front line for 18 months and are now facing an insecure future.”
“It is astounding that one of our most profitable banks can turn its back on bank workers who the ANZ and the community have relied on to help large numbers of Australians confront the financial hardship thrown up by the pandemic.
“Earlier this year the ANZ announced it was shutting down 15 branches and with the latest closures, the bank will have closed 152 branches since the beginning of 2020.”
“That is an unenviable record for a bank which claims it operates in the best interests of customers and staff.”
“Staff at the affected branches are being offered voluntary redundancy and limited opportunities for redeployment.”
Ms Angrisano said customers will be forced to travel even further to do their banking at other ANZ branches and the closures would particularly affect older people who are less likely to be computer literate.