The Finance Sector Union of Australia (FSU) has now written to the CEO’s of Australia’s major banks calling on them to match the commitment made last week by the NAB to stop closing bank branches in rural and regional areas until at least January 2021 following sustained lobbying by the Union.
(Text of the letter is reproduced below.)
FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said the National Australia Bank (NAB) had set the standard for the industry by putting aside branch closures until early 2021.
“We asked the NAB last year not to close branches in drought affected areas around Australia and the bank agreed. Now the FSU is asking the heads of all the banks to do the right thing and put people before profits by matching the NAB’s commitment on branch closures across Australia until 2021,” Ms Angrisano said.
“The banks need to repair their tarnished reputation and they can do that by supporting their customers and staff in rural and regional areas.”
“Banking is an essential service and no matter where branches are located, there should be no reason to dump customers and staff and leave them to seek an alternative financial services outlet or alternative employment.”
“It makes no sense to walk away from rural customers who have helped banks generate large profits over generations.”
Text of letter sent to CEO’s of CBA, ANZ, Westpac, Bank of Queensland and Suncorp.
Re: A moratorium on branch closures
I write in respect to the recent announcement by the NAB to place a moratorium on regional branch closures until at least January 2021. This is good news for many regional customers who have suffered over the years from branch closures and the withdrawl of banking services from their communities. I believe this is a positive and appropriate first step for the major banks to take as they seek to restore their reputations from the revelations of the Hayne Royal Commission.
I would like to encourage your bank to commit to a similar policy as this would send a positive signal to your regional customers and their communities that the ANZ is prepared to listen and act boldly. On another level adopting a moratorium on branch closures sends a message to the nation that the bank is prioritising service delivery and supporting the regions.
A prompt decision not only provides certainty to the bank’s regional customers customers but the banks staff and I look forward to hearing from you by March 31st.
I look forward to your response.