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Westpac deciding to keep Sale branch is win for community and shows pressure works to keep rural and regional banking services local

While Westpac's decision to retain the Sale branch is a win, innovative solutions are still needed for rural and regional customers. The Senate inquiry is exploring options for service delivery guarantees and additional regulations.

By news@gippsland - 10th May 2023 - Back to News

I certainly welcome the decision by Westpac to retain the Sale branch which is a win for community pressure. Much more is required but hopefully this means the major banks are going to start listening to customers in rural and regional areas and developing solutions which work for them. It's lazy to just shut branches in Gippsland when more innovative solutions are available which would mean the customers who need face-to-face banking services are treated with respect.

The Senate inquiry aims to ensure a minimum level of bank services; failing cooperation, licenses and regulations could be amended

The Senate inquiry aims to ensure a minimum level of bank services; failing cooperation, licenses and regulations could be amended

Demanding fair banking

We need to keep building pressure on the banks and the current Senate inquiry, which held a public hearing in Sale, has heard that 'all options should be on the table' to guarantee a minimum level of service delivery to banking customers.

The senate inquiry is a chance to explore innovative solutions to maintain face-to-face services which are critical for small business owners and a wide range of customers who aren't capable of using online banking, or simply need some personal assistance at a branch to access their own money. If the banks refuse to play fair with their customers, I'm happy to explore options to add extra conditions on their licences and more regulations to the outcome Australians want.

The ongoing record profits of the major banks is proof they can afford to offer a better service but the executives in big cities haven't bothered to care about regional customers. We still have Bendigo Bank planning to close several agencies which is completely contradictory to their claims to care for regional Australia. We don't need platitudes and corporate vision statements, we need branches and agencies to stay open.

Pictures from The Middle of Everywhere website.


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