Westpac is ignoring community concern over its savage branch closure program by closing down another five metropolitan branches at the same time it has agreed to a moratorium on regional closures while a Senate Inquiry is underway.
Westpac is clearly thumbing its corporate nose at the Australian Parliament and the community by announcing the closure of city branches trading under the Westpac, St George and Bank of Melbourne brands.
Westpac branches at Mortdale and Neutral Bay (NSW) will close on 21 April along with the St George branch at Queen St Brisbane and Bank of Melbourne branches at Brimbank and Point Cook (Vic).
“Westpac’s decision to shut down city branches while a Senate Inquiry into regional bank branch closures is underway reveals exactly what they think of the community’s legitimate concerns about branch closures where-ever they happen,” said Finance Sector Union National secretary Julia Angrisano.
“This bank doesn’t care about customers or staff. It only cares about profits.”
“By closing branches Westpac is making sure its billion dollar profits are pumped up so senior executives keep their fat bonuses coming in.”
“We know bank customers are under financial stress as rising interest rates and the cost of living eat into their pay packets.”
“At a time like this many customers will want to be able to go to their local branch and seek help to manage their finances.”
Ms Angrisano said while all the banks used the excuse that branches are closing because customers prefer digital banking, our members tell us that they are forced to push customers onto online banking whenever they go to a branch.”
“So much for Westpac’s announcement it would join a moratorium on regional branch closures. Once the Senate Inquiry concludes, we know the bank will keep closing branches no matter what the Inquiry recommends.”
“The arrogance of Westpac is only exceeded by the size of its executive salaries.”
“It’s time the Federal Government regulated the banks so they are required to provide a minimum level of financial services to Australians no matter where they live.”