The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) is taking the knife to its BankWest subsidiary, closing 14 branches in NSW, Qld, Victoria and SA and cutting trading hours at 29 regional locations in WA.
As BankWest deserts the east coast, a total of 126 workers are facing redundancy, with a range of positions being axed, including state lending managers, home lenders, customer consultants and branch tellers.
In Western Australia, operating days and operating hours will be cut at 29 branches, with some currently operating five days a week having opening times cut to just two days a week.
The CBA has notified the Finance Sector Union that the following BankWest branches will close:
QLD: Queen St, Brisbane; Northlakes; Helensvale.
Vic: Melbourne City; Fountain Gate; Plenty Valley; The Glen; Watergarden.
NSW: Erina; Hurstville; Parramatta; Liverpool; George St.
The following quotes can be attributed to Julia Angrisano, National Secretary, Finance Sector Union:
“The Commonwealth Bank and its subsidiary, BankWest are abandoning customers and communities across the east coast with no BankWest branches remaining outside WA.”
“It is yet another case of the CBA putting profits before people.”
“The major banks are so obsessed with profits that they have lost sight of their responsibility to the community to provide financial services. They act without any concern for their customers and dump them without a second thought when profits at particular branches decline.”
“Banks like the CBA and BankWest promote the lie that large numbers of customers are migrating to digital banking, when the truth is that the banks are actively pushing customers into digital banking.”
“BankWest and the CBA are hardly doing it tough after the group booked a hefty $9.6 billion profit in FY2022.”
“The gutting of BankWest calls into question comments this year by CBA boss Matt Comyn that: ‘Our purpose, to build a brighter future for all, reflects the role we play in supporting our customers and the domestic economy during periods of uncertainty’.”
“While changes to the opening hours for 29 BankWest branches in WA is regrettable and will impact the working lives of FSU members, the union believes this is preferable to closing down those branches.”
“We have significant concerns about the impact these changes will have on the community’s access to banking services in WA.”
“The FSU has been concerned for years about the massive numbers of bank branches being closed, especially in regional areas. This trend has reached crisis proportions and we are calling on the Federal Government to hold an inquiry into the impact of bank branch closures.”
“The FSU believes banking is an essential service and that all Australians, no matter where they live, have the right to access banking services in the manner they choose, in particular by being able to walk into a local branch.”