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24 Westpac bank branches to close permanently

Westpac branch
Banks are closing branches in multiple locations due to low foot traffic. (Source: Getty)

Westpac has decided to shutter more than 20 branches ​​under the Westpac, Bank of Melbourne or St. George brands.

Branches in 24 regional and suburban locations will close in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, the bank confirmed this week.

The decision follows a spate of branch closures by Westpac and other banks in recent years.

Westpac, Bank of Melbourne and St. George branch locations will close permanently in:

  • Victoria: Bentleigh; Colac; Eltham; Greythorn; Leongatha; Morwell; Portland; Reservoir; South Yarra; Werribee.

  • NSW: Glen Innes; Kiama; Lavington; Leura; Wauchope; Cronulla; Kingsgrove.

  • Queensland: Nambour; New Farm; Toombul.

  • South Australia: Fulham Gardens; Peterborough.

  • Western Australia: Kununurra; University Campus.

A Westpac Group spokesperson said closing branches was “not a decision we take lightly”.

“We take into consideration customer usage, location, and proximity to other banking services,” the spokesperson said.

The bank said that, in most cases, customers could continue banking locally using banking facilities at their local post shop.

The spokesperson said few people were visiting bank branches and the many customers were now using online banking.

“We continue to follow our customers by investing in the ways they are choosing to bank,” the spokesperson said.

“This follows a significant shift toward digital and cashless banking, and declining foot traffic in bank branches.”

The bank has also bolstered its phone banking and virtual banking centres to service customers. These are open at all hours, seven days a week.

“Many of our customers are comfortable doing most of their banking online, but for those who would prefer face-to-face service, we will continue to offer a range of ways to bank with us.”

The bank also said it had a “robust process in place” to help employees find jobs within the group if their roles had disappeared in the closures.

“This means the majority of employees affected by branch changes secure a new role and continue their career with the Group.”

A blow for some customers

Branch closures accelerated during the pandemic, according to Finance Sector Union (FSU) national secretary Julia Angrisano.

In 2021 alone, nearly 300 bank branches shut up shop permanently.

Angrisano said branch closures were a “real blow” to Australians who struggled to do their banking online.

“Not everybody can move to digital banking – people with disabilities, those with low levels of digital literacy, and those with English as a second language or limited access to transport,” she said last year.

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