Bank clo­sures anger res­i­dents due to fur­ther travel times to branches,

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Danielle Ford

AS A West­pac cus­tomer of more than 35 years, Mark Fer­retti said he was ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed to hear his lo­cal branch would be clos­ing later this year.

Mr Fer­retti said he found out about the clo­sure of the Beer­wah West­pac branch from a let­ter the bank sent to his son, who had only re­cently opened two ac­counts at the branch.

“He ac­tu­ally got a let­ter say­ing it was clos­ing and talk­ing about how more and more peo­ple are mov­ing to on­line bank­ing,” Mr Fer­retti said.

“I was re­ally dis­ap­pointed when I heard about it be­cause Beer­wah is a re­gional hub for the Glasshouse Moun­tains area.”

The Glasshouse Moun­tains res­i­dent reg­u­larly uses the branch to do his bank­ing and said there would be many peo­ple in sur­round­ing ar­eas im­pacted by the clo­sure.

“Peo­ple come from places like Lands­bor­ough, Beer­bur­rum, Peach­ester and Wood­ford to use this branch be­cause it’s in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion,” Mr Fer­retti said.

“Now the clos­est branches would be Caloun­dra, Mo­ray­field or Bud­erim, which are all a good half-hour away, or more in traf­fic.”

A West­pac Bank rep­re­sen­ta­tive said there had been a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in the us­age of the Beer­wah branch, which had an av­er­age of 35 trans­ac­tions un­der­taken each day, com­pared to the Bud­erim branch, which had al­most dou­ble the num­ber of bank trans­ac­tions.

“Over the past few years, we’ve ex­pe­ri­enced a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in cus­tomer trans­ac­tions un­der­taken at our West­pac Beer­wah branch, as more and more cus­tomers choose to un­der­take their bank­ing in dif­fer­ent ways, for ex­am­ple dig­i­tal bank­ing,” the rep­re­sen­ta­tive said.

“We wish for the com­mu­nity to know this is not a de­ci­sion we take lightly, but in re­sponse to changes in the way our cus­tomers are choos­ing to bank, we have made a de­ci­sion to close the branch.

“When do­ing this we take a num­ber of fac­tors into con­sid­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing us­age, lo­ca­tion, prox­im­ity to other ser­vices and com­mu­nity needs.”

The Beer­wah branch will cease trad­ing on Fri­day, No­vem­ber 23, and the Caloun­dra branch will take over the man­age­ment of cus­tomers’ bank­ing.

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