Castlemaine branch of ANZ bank to close

A local business operator has slammed a decision by the ANZ bank to close its Castlemaine branch next March.
Stephen Cross of Castlemaine Central Wine Store fears the move – part of wider branch closures flagged by the ANZ – will be detrimental for the town.
“It is very disappointing and yet another example of corporate Australia abandoning their commitment to people, especially in regional areas,” the local retailer said.
“I think it’s particularly disappointing after the Banking Royal Commission earlier this year handed down its findings and one of the key findings was that the large banks need to find the right balance between their shareholders and their customers – and here is the ANZ basically shafting their customers.”
The bank has indicated its Castlemaine branch will close in March next year, citing a decline in customer numbers for the decision.
ANZ general manager for Victoria and Tasmania Michael Wake has been publicly quoted as stating that transactions at the branch have declined eight per cent, year on year.
Mr Wake has also said only 16 per cent of home customers of the Castlemaine branch use the branch itself while 68 per cent use online and mobile branching.
ANZ had flagged in November 2018 that it expected to close further branches over the following two-year period.
The Castlemaine branch is earmarked to close on March 5 next year but it is understood an ANZ ATM will remain in Castlemaine.
It is also understood that ANZ will hold discussions with branch staff to support them through the adjustment period and try to find suitable redeployment opportunities within the bank.
Mr Cross said his CBD business had been a customer of the ANZ locally for over five years but he would now be forced to consider switching to another bank.
“I’ll have to switch because I’m a retail business. I take cash. Where am I going to put my cash?” he said.
“It’s the second major bank closure in town in about the last two-and-a-half years since Westpac closed their agency here.
“I don’t know how many businesses bank with the ANZ. I certainly know of several but it’s going to be bad news for the town. There’s no two ways about it. And it’s another empty building.”
NB. The Kyneton ANZ branch will not be closing.

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