The National Secretary of the Finance Sector Union of Australia, Julia Angrisano, said the Union has secured an important win for drought affected communities.

“Last month we wrote to each of the big four banks asking them to suspend any branch closures in drought affected areas. We also wrote to relevant State and Federal Ministers alerting them to this,” Ms Angrisano said.

“I’m pleased to advise that today, National Australia Bank has indicated they will not close branches during the drought.”

“This comes two weeks after the NSW Opposition Leader, Luke Foley, helped secure an undertaking that the Dungog NAB branch would not be closed.”

“Today’s confirmation that NAB will not close branches during the drought is good news, and is a small step in the right direction for a bank that has been mauled in the Royal Commission.”

MsAngrisano said in another step in the right direction, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) says they will take the drought into account and “… will limit our review of branches during this financial year.”

The Finance Sector Union is meeting with ANZ executives next week to discuss their response to the drought. No response has been received from Westpac at the time of writing.

“Banking is an essential service, and many rural communities rely heavily on the presence of a local branch,” Ms Angrisano said.

“Australia’s banks were underwritten by Australian taxpayers during the Global Financial Crisis and it’s time for banks to step up and do the right thing by drought affected communities.”



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