ANZ BAILS OUT

Bank will close branch in April after 145 years in Rochy

Campaspe News - - FRONT PAGE - By STEPHANIE HOR­TON

LESS than a week after the clo­sure of Mur­ray Goul­burn, the ANZ bank has an­nounced it will shut its Rochester branch.

The branch, which has been ser­vic­ing the com­mu­nity since 1873, will close on April 24, with the ATM in Gillies St to re­main. Only two banks will be left in town — Com­mon­wealth Bank and Bendigo Bank.

It is an­other blow for Rochester, with many peo­ple an­gry and dis­ap­pointed. None more so than 80-yearold James Dev­er­ill, who has banked with ANZ since 1957.

‘‘I’m ab­so­lutely dis­gusted and dis­ap­pointed,’’ he said.

‘‘Hasn’t Rochy had enough? First it was West­pac then NAB then MG (Mur­ray Goul­burn) and now ANZ.’’

He, like other cus­tomers, re­ceived a let­ter say­ing over-the-counter trans­ac­tions will go to the post of­fice.

‘‘It’s com­pletely un­fair on the post of­fice,’’ Mr Dev­er­ill said.

‘‘They are al­ready deal­ing with West­pac as well as V/Line and other postal is­sues, its just more work on them and more time for cus­tomers to wait.’’

An ANZ spokesper­son said cus­tomers have been chang­ing the way they do their bank­ing in re­cent years, with more of them using on­line op­tions and ATMs rather than vis­it­ing branches.

‘‘Of our cus­tomers who have Ro- ch­ester as their home branch, only 21 per cent of them cur­rently use the branch, with nearly 57 per cent of them pre­fer­ring in­ter­net or mo­bile bank­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘This has been a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion and we apol­o­gise for the in­con­ve­nience we know this will cause some of our cus­tomers.’’

Mem­ber for Mur­ray Plains Peter Walsh said it was just an­other dis­ap­point­ment for the town.

“ANZ bank cus­tomers will be ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed and in­con­ve­nienced by the clo­sure of the Rochester branch,’’ he said.

‘‘Rochester has a well es­tab­lished Bendigo Com­mu­nity Bank un­der the guid­ance of very ca­pa­ble lo­cal direc­tors, who are com­mit­ted to sus­tain­ing and grow­ing Rochester and dis­trict.

‘‘This pro­vides a very good op­tion for ANZ cus­tomers who wish to con­tinue to bank in the town.”

Rochester Busi­ness Net­work pres­i­dent Glenda Ni­chol agreed.

‘‘Some mem­bers of the net­work who do bank with ANZ are wor­ried about what they need to do,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s hard to say whether it will hurt the town, it re­ally de­pends on what they do with their bank.

‘‘It just means they need to change their means of bank­ing.

‘‘I en­cour­age every­one who banks with the ANZ to bank with our com­mu­nity bank, which puts money back in the com­mu­nity.’’

Com­mon­wealth Bank man­age­ment say they won’t be leaving any time soon. ‘‘We are proud to have served the peo­ple of Rochester for more than 100 years and we will con­tinue to do so through our branch on Gillies St,’’ a spokesper­son said.

I’m ab­so­lutely dis­gusted and ’ dis­ap­pointed — James Dev­er­ill

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