Village’s last bank branch set to shut its doors
BRUNSWICK Heads residents' fears of losing their only banking facilities have been confirmed by the Commonwealth Bank
The financial institution has confirmed its Fingal St branch will not be reopening, and the ATM will also be removed before the end of the month.
This is bad news for a community that will be left with no banking branch and only two ATMs housed by private businesses.
The branch had been closed since May, with a temporary sign alerting customers the facilities would be unavailable "until further notice".
A new sign appeared this week, and confirmed that the branch and the ATM "will be permanently closing at 12pm on Friday, August 28, 2020".
Customers were disappointed to see the branch go.
Brunswick Heads resident Micheline, who declined to offer her surname, said she was very disappointed in the decision.
"I heard about it on social media, so I was here to close my account with them, but I couldn't even do that," she said.
"We will be left with an ATM at the supermarket and one at the pub, for which we have to pay a fee each time, and no branch in Bruns.
"This is so bad."
Commonwealth Bank regional general manager, Sara Sutton, confirmed the closure and explained there will be no job loses as staff have been working from home from May and will continue to do so.
"Transactions at this branch have declined by 40 per cent over the past five years," she said.
"Over a third (36 per cent) of customers from Brunswick Heads branch are already visiting our neighbouring branches at Mullumbimby and Byron Bay.
"Additionally, the Australia Post outlet at Brunswick Heads, three doors down, is available for customers to conduct personal and business banking transactions."
Ms Sutton said the pandemic accelerated the continuing shift in banking behaviour with a significant proportion of customers contacting them through their "Australian-based contact centres."
"Customers can also access their accounts 24 hours a day through NetBank or the CommBank App. We are also available for general banking enquiries, through our locally-based contact centres on 13 22 21, every day between 6am and 10pm."