Aban­doned again

Central Telegraph - - NEWS -

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

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