Newcomb’s Westpac branch to close
NEWCOMB will lose its Westpac branch next month, but the bank says it has not taken the decision lightly.
Last week, the Finance Sector Union (FSU) said Westpac had informed the union and bank employees in Victoria and Tasmania that another seven Westpac and Bank of Melbourne branches would close on October 15.
The union says 36 staff will either lose their jobs or be redeployed but Westpac has not revealed how many jobs will be affected at the Newcomb branch, located at the Newcomb Central Shopping Centre.
FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano said Westpac knew in August that it was going to close branches in Victoria and Tasmania and the latest news was “nothing more than media spin to avoid the bad publicity of a big headline number”.
“Our members in branches are concerned their jobs could be the next to go and that’s a difficult issue for staff who are working through the challenges thrown up by COVID.
“Westpac is slashing millions from its cost base and they know exactly what the future looks like. Instead of dribbling out closure announcements Westpac needs to fess up and stop trying to avoid negative headlines.”
A Westpac spokesperson said the bank “continues to follow our customers by investing in the ways they are choosing to bank”, which followed a significant shift toward digital and cashless banking, as well as declining foot traffic in bank branches.
“Many of our customers are increasingly comfortable doing most of their banking online, but for those who would prefer face-to-face service we will continue offer our customers a range of ways to bank with us.
“Westpac will continue to support Newcomb customers with face-to-face service via our Geelong branch which is just 4kms away or via our [email protected] option with Australia Post, which is located just 360 metres away from the current branch.
“We encourage any customer in Newcomb who needs help with their banking to contact us as soon as possible so we can work with them one-on-one to ensure their needs are being met.
“When we do close a branch, it is not a decision we take lightly. We take into consideration customer usage, location, and proximity to other banking services.
“Our branches will continue to remain an important service option, especially in areas that have high customer usage.”