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Westpac, ANZ accused of shutting branches and axing jobs

Union says Westpac will shut seven branches. Source: Getty

Westpac is planning on closing seven more St George branches, according to the Finance Sector Union, merely a week after ANZ announced plans to shut branches in Victoria and South Australia.

According to the FSU, a total of 28 jobs will be lost at branches in Queensland’s Ashgrove, Capalaba, Loganholme, Kippa Ring, Morayfield and Victoria Point, and South Australia’s Glenside, when they shut doors in November.

“There are 18 St George branches in the greater Brisbane area and with this latest announcement of six closures, the bank will be cutting 34 per cent of their branch network and 25 per cent of their workforce,” FSU Queensland secretary Wendy Streets said.

A St George spokesperson said: “Over the past few years, we’ve experienced a significant decline in customer transactions undertaken through our branches, as more and more customers choose to do their banking in different ways, for example digital banking. St.George Bank will continue to invest in Queensland branches where our customers are choosing to bank, this will include improving the technology and services we offer our customers across the state.”

Streets said the closures simply aren't "good enough".

“While the banks all claim they shut branches because customers are using internet banking, we know the real reason is that the branch doesn’t generate enough profits for the bank,” she said.

“How can Westpac claim to be working hard to regain the trust and confidence of workers and

local communities following the Hayne Royal Commission when it has closed 67 branches so far this year across Australia.

“Closing these branches, deserting customers and making staff redundant is a disgrace.”

ANZ shuts branches

The news follows ANZ’s announcement to shut branches in Victoria and South Australia, axing 30 staff as a result.

Branches at Gladstone Park and Endeavour Hills and Burnside in South Australia will shut in November this year, and Castlemaine and Foster in Victoria are set to shut in March next year.

FSU’s Victoria-Tasmania secretary David Scanlon said it was "a disgrace" that ANZ blamed customers for its decision to shut branches.

“The ANZ is dumping these communities and walking away from its’ customers and staff because it has chosen to put profits before people.”

Will Commonwealth Bank shut branches too?

Earlier this year, CBA made headlines after speculation that they would axe 10,000 jobs and shut 300 branches.

While this was never confirmed, the FSU’s national secretary, Julia Angrisano, asked CBA’s chief executive, Matt Comyn, to come clean about the cuts, or notify staff the rumours were incorrect.

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