THE Rock Bank is the latest bank to abandon Theodore and many other rural towns including Biloela, Emerald and Moura.
After the ANZ made all the excuses to leave Theodore, hundreds of residents flocked to the Rock believing it to be a secure option.
Jess Stevens the Rock manager at Theodore put in a huge number of hours and a lot of personal effort into promoting the agency in Theodore only now to be kicked in the teeth by big business, with her entire business being set up around the agency.
What happens now to Theodore, Shire and Regional Banking?
The way things are going the shire could end up without a bank outside Biloela.
The ANZ left Theodore locals with a very poor opinion of big banks. Now it could be the same for smaller systems that built their business model on the regions.
With our strong customer focus forms part of their web site.
It seems that a subtext may be needed: “as long as you don’t live in regional Queensland”.
Information suggests that the Rock bailing was known since June and letters were sent out to advise customers.
Last week saw some addresses in Theodore receiving up to 10 Rock letters with half relating to the dumping of services to Theodore.
Residents are asking what is the overall cost of those letters?
The post office can take up some slack, but cannot be physically be expected to provide the business banking needed for Theodore.
The issue of change is a big problem for the town.
The hotel, IGA and other businesses rely on small change.
The ANZ ATM has been a huge issue for business.
Primarily offering $50 notes – customers then have to try and break it down.
Offering a $50 note at the newsagency for a $1.75 newspaper first thing in the morning is not met with a friendly smile.
Carrying more change is not practical and certainly not safe.
Currently there is no Rock ATM, so by using another bank’s ATM, customers may be slugged up to $3 for the privilege of withdrawing their cash.
What the banks cannot get through their bureaucratic customer backstabbing methodology is small business cannot be expected to do their work for them.
Everyone is fully aware that banks make billions a year at everyone’s expense but fail miserably on providing regional services.
It costs big money to
travel to larger centres to get change. A 2-3 hour round trip is common to get smaller change.
The newsagency has even been forced to organise $50 in five cent pieces via relatives in Brisbane.
Theodore and other regional sporting clubs are going to do it hard for their events.
Trying to get change and opening and closing accounts is going to drive business away from town.
Just to change a signatory may now require a trip to Rockhampton so that proper identification can be presented.
Sounding like a carbon copy of the ANZ’s version of events, one of the rationales offered by the Rock was along the lines of online presence, cost savings and lack of foot traffic.
The official proforma letter from the Rock stated “more and more customers told us they want to bank by secure and convenient channels”.
However it seemed to dodge around the facts that customers like to be able to visit a branch and get personal service that is also secure and convenient.
It hoped that the chamber of commerce will plan a public meeting in the coming weeks to provide some insight into the farce. — Paul Fowkes Theodore