Westpac shuts 20 more branches

Westpac, one of Australia’s largest banks, has announced that it will close 20 branches across the country, costing 91 jobs, according to the Finance Sector Union (FSU). The union criticised the move, alleging that the bank was closing branches to “prop up profits and bonuses for senior executives.”

While Westpac’s full-year profit for 2022 was up 4%, costs for the year had dropped 19%. The latest announcement includes Westpac, Bank of Melbourne, and Bank SA branches across NSW, Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia. The FSU said major banks had previously announced a further 35 branches across Australia would close between February and June this year.

The union welcomed the recently announced Senate inquiry into bank branch closures, which will investigate the impact of downsizing on regional communities. “We welcome the CBA’s announcement to pause regional bank closures and we now expect the other banks to do the same,” said FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano. The latest branch closures will affect not just regional areas but also a number of urban branches.

In a statement, a Westpac spokesperson said that customer expectations were changing, prompting the bank to invest more in digital services. “Changing and declining customer use of branches means that in some instances, we may make a difficult decision to close a branch,” the spokesperson said. “In these instances, we continue to support our customers by expanding access via Bank@Post, telephone, mobile and virtual banking.

We always notify our customers in advance about the changes and directly connect them with the services they need to continue to do their banking.” The spokesperson also emphasised that dedicated support was available for people new to digital banking and that the bank had a process in place to help employees secure new opportunities within the Westpac Group or elsewhere in the local community.

Pan Finance is a print journal and news website providing worldwide intelligence on finance, economics and global commerce. Known for our in-depth analysis and opinion pieces from esteemed academics and celebrated professionals; our readership consists of senior decision makers from across the globe.

Contact us