Yass will lose its Westpac Branch as the bank looks to also close down another 23 locations with 103 jobs going across the board. The union is claiming the move has“ become a monthly attack on its branch network around Australia”.

Last month, it was revealed 37 branches at Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and NAB would be shuttered across the nation, with the finance sector Union (FSU) describing the closures at the time as reaching “crisis point”.

FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano said the latest savage round of cost-cutting would affect tens of thousands of local Westpac retail and business customers, who will now be forced to travel even further to access banking services at a branch.

“This is no longer cutting the fat from Westpac. This latest carving up of Westpac’s branches is slicing right into the core of the bank with staff morale at rock bottom as they wait for the axe to fall on what’s left of the branch network,” she said.

 

Westpac Yass branch on Comur Street

The Commonwealth Bank will also close a further three branches in Tenterfield and Junee in NSW and Reynella in SA.

A Westpac Group spokesperson stated that during the last round of cuts that with more than five million digitally active customers, the company was investing in services to complement how their customers choose to bank.

“Declining customer use of branches means that in some instances, we may take a difficult decision to leave a branch location. In these instances, we continue to support our customers with access to banking services via Bank@Post, telephone, mobile and virtual banking,” they said.“We take steps to ensure customers are notified in advance about the changes and are directly connected with the services they need to continue to do their banking. For those who are new to digital banking or may require more assistance with the changes, we provide dedicated support and education to make the transition easier.

Yass Valley Council’s Mayor & Deputy Mayor were in lockstep, speaking against the closure

“Very disappointing to learn of the intended closure of the Yass branch of Westpac,” stated Mayor Allan McGrath.
“Rural and regional closures have become a bit of a trend with the big four banks with little regard for loyal customers or staff.  Yet the Community Bank model sponsored by the Bendigo Bank appears to go from strength to strength in country towns where they have filled the void created by the big bank closures.
Time to think about a Yass Community Bank?”

Deputy Mayor Jasmin Jones added, “It’s a kick in the guts for a country town to lose a branch, especially one that has been established as long as Westpac has. We are going to lose people’s livelihoods and people from Yass. Having previously met staff, I know them to be dedicated to their branch customers. It will impact a lot of businesses. It will also impact elderly and rural farmers who need their banks open.”