Bankwest set to close 29 east coast branches in three week period

Bankwest set to close 29 east coast branches in three week period
Bankwest set to close 29 east coast branches in three week period

Bankwest have announced they will close 29 branches across the east coast over just a three-week period. They're set to start the closure of the branches in mid-August.

The biggest changes will be in New South Wales, with over half of the branches on the chopping block coming from the state. The rest of the closures are in Victoria and Queensland.

The bank, who have 82 branches in Western Australia, are reducing its east coast footprint to 14 key branches.

Rowan Munchenberg, Bankwest's managing director, said rapid changes in the digital space required Bankwest to make important decisions on where to invest to deliver great value for customers and grow nationally.

Closures will affect about 200 staff.

“Many people still value face-to-face interactions, but customers increasingly expect seamless self-service options that allow them to do their banking when and where they choose,” he said.

“We’re seeing a consistent trend of customers choosing mobile banking over in-branch options for their transaction needs, with an 88 per cent rise in app logins over the past three years.

“So, we’re transforming our organisation to respond more rapidly to these changing customer needs by adopting new ways of working and embracing new technologies.

“But we know we can’t match the major banks’ nation-wide footprint and also deliver world class digital services, so we will prioritise digital channels and broker relationships.

“This change does not impact Western Australia, where our strong brand and established footprint enables us to maintain highly competitive branch and digital offerings.”

Munchenberg said the change had been a difficult decision, given a significant number of east coast colleagues would be affected.

“We will work with and support impacted colleagues in the coming weeks, doing what we can to help them identify other opportunities, be they within or outside of the Group,” he said.

“We are writing to affected customers to outline options, such as using Australia Post’s Bank@Post services and, for business customers, taking advantage of CBA branches.

“Ultimately, this change means we can provide better services to more customers in the future.”

Impacted customers are being informed of the closures and will receive guidance on alternative banking options available to them by email, letters and store signage.

The move is the latest step in Bankwest’s strategic refocus which they announced last year on evolving and improving its offering to retail and small business customers nationwide.

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

Banks Bankwest

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