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Bankwest shutters all east coast branches

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
The Bankwest logo on the exterior of a Bankwest branch.
Bankwest will close its remaining east coast branches. (Source: Getty)

Bankwest has confirmed it will close its remaining east coast branches and reduce trading hours in regional Western Australia.

The bank said the decision came as more customers turned to using online banking.

Fourteen branches will shut by the end of October, five each in NSW and Victoria, three in Brisbane and one in Adelaide.

A further 29 branches in regional WA will shift to only trading two to four days per week, the Commonwealth Bank subsidiary confirmed.

While customers may be left reeling, the move is also expected to impact around 120 staff.

Bankwest said those staff members would be offered redeployment opportunities.

Executive general manager Jason Chan said east coast branches averaged about 25 transactions per day, down 64 per cent in five years.

Chan said digital app usage had risen significantly over the same period.

"Bankwest is in a strong position to grow as a homeowner-focused digital bank on the east coast due to our distinct brand, first-class broker offering and 24/7 digital and contact centre services," he said.

"We have a clear ambition to serve more home loan customers nationwide who are seeking simple, friendly and easy access to their banking services through their mobile phone or tablet device."

He said customers would still be able to carry out their day-to-day banking at post offices.

Finance Sector Union national secretary Julia Angrisano accused Bankwest of "abandoning customers and communities".

"The major banks are so obsessed with profits that they have lost sight of their responsibility to the community to provide financial services," Angrisano said.

"They act without any concern for their customers and dump them without a second thought when profits at particular branches decline.

"The truth is that the banks are actively pushing customers into digital banking."

- With AAP

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