The Westpac Banking Group has notified the Finance Sector Union (FSU) that it will further reduce its branch network across the Westpac, St George and Bank of Melbourne brands with the closure of 15 more bank branches across Australia by March, 2022.
Finance Sector Union National Secretary Julia Angrisano said the axe was falling on 77 staff jobs at the same time Westpac was celebrating a $1.8 billion profit for the latest quarter.
“It is obscene for Westpac management to be celebrating a massive profit and telling the ASX the bank is performing well when jobs are being cut so savagely that every staff member in every branch is worried theirs could be the next job to go,” Ms Angrisano said.
Westpac branches will be closed at: 448 St Kilda Road, Abbotsford, Carlton, Edgecliff, Geebung, Guildford, Palmyra, Port Adelaide and Warners Bay.
St George branches will close at: Fyshwick, Greystanes and Kotara.
Bank of Melbourne branches will close at: Elsternwick, Frankston and South Yarra.
Ms Angrisano said Westpac, on its own admission, is shutting branches as part of a program designed to ‘streamline’ the Bank and lower the cost of running the group.
“While Westpac has always tried to con consumers that branch closures are caused by digital banking, they couldn’t continue that line with the ASX and had to admit the cost reduction program had led to the loss of 1,100 staff and contractor jobs over the quarter.”
“Westpac is subjecting customers and staff to ‘death by a thousand cuts,’ shutting more branches every month.”
“Westpac CEO Peter King told the ASX the bank is continuing to support employees, but how can that be when there are no offers of redeployment being made to the latest 77 staff to lose their jobs.”
“Westpac, St George and Bank of Melbourne staff reject Mr King’s claims that cost cutting will ‘strengthen our franchise for customers’.”
“Staff and customers are being dumped by Westpac and the Federal Government has no appetite for addressing the problem of endless bank branch closures.”
Ms Angrisano said the latest closures are taking place at the same time as the Federal Government’s Regional Branch Closure Taskforce is holding public hearings. The FSU believes the Taskforce is a political stunt and these closures are further proof of that.