COROWA has lost the first of its big four bank presence with ANZ confirming plans to close its doors on October 9.
The bank began informing customers this week of a decision it described as being “difficult” to make and acknowledged the inconvenience it will cause.
Earlier this year ANZ announced a purge of 12 branches and rival National Australia Bank closed branches at Culcairn and Lockhart.
The move has been slammed by the Finance Sector Union of Australia, but ANZ district manager Simon Mallia said fewer customers were using the Corowa branch with online and ATM options on the rise.
An ATM machine will be kept in Corowa either at the present branch location in Sanger Street or nearby.
“More and more customers are using online options and ATMs, which is part of a broader change in the way people prefer to do their banking,” Mr Mallia said.
“This has been a difficult decision and we apologise for the inconvenience we know this will cause some of our customers.
“Of our customers who have Corowa as their home branch, only 10 per cent of them currently use the branch with 67 per cent of them preferring internet or mobile banking.
“We have written to our customers to let them know about this closure and that they can continue their banking through options such as Bank@Post, online and mobile banking.
“We are consulting the staff members who currently work at the branch and are supporting them through this transition while making every effort to find them redeployment opportunities with ANZ.”
An ANZ spokesman declined to comment on how many staff were employed at the Corowa branch, but FSU Nicole McPherson confirmed four employees were impacted by the decision.
She added Corowa was part of another five branches announced for closure by the ANZ which had shut 93 branches in the last 18 months.
Documents tendered at the banking Royal Commission last week showed ANZ was on an “accelerated” branch closure program.
The union will meet with ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott on Monday.
“We are very concerned about the rate of ANZ branch closures,” Ms McPherson said.
“Its priority is to maximise profit at expense of customers.
“We’re also concerned that the bank is not consulting with communities when they close these branches.
“They are just making the announcement and then bailing out of town and telling people they can go to the post office if they feel like it.”