The Finance Sector Union (FSU) welcomes the new Senate inquiry into regional bank closures to be held by the Senate Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs.
Unlike the Coalition Regional Bank Closure Taskforce that was held in 2021 we hope that this inquiry will take it’s time to examine in detail the plethora of issues that arise from the closure of bank branches.
FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano said the Union had been calling for a serious examination of the branch closures as banks continue to reduce their branch networks.
“Banks are shutting branches across Australia leaving consumers and businesses without access to financial services,” Ms Angrisano said.
“It is clear that cutting the branch network is being done to reduce costs and maintain profits.”
“While hundreds of banks have been closed in recent years, a large number of bank staff have also lost their jobs.”
“The Coalitions taskforce was a complete waste of time and money and was dominated and run by the Banks.”
“We had this farcical situation where the Banks were overseeing an inquiry into themselves and consequently a range of important voices, including the FSU, were excluded from that process. This cannot happen again if this inquiry is to have any substance and impact.”
“We know that regional communities are doing it tough without access to banking services. The FSU will also encourage the Senate Committee to examine the impact branch closures have on the workers who have lost their jobs.”
“The FSU has been at the forefront of the branch closure issue for years and has campaigned long and hard not just for an effective and holistic Government inquiry into bank branch closures but as an advocate for the many groups of Australian who have been disadvantaged by bank branch closures.”