ANZ has confirmed plans to close branches in Victoria and South Australia, adding to 20 being shut across the two states in the past year.
According to the union, ANZ branches at Gladstone Park and Endeavour Hills in Victoria will close in November, along with Burnside in South Australia while Victorian branches in Castlemaine and Forster are to cease in March next year.
A total of 30 staff will be affected by the closures, according to the FSU. ANZ said it would be looking to redeploy impacted staff within the bank.
During the royal commission, ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said branches were becoming “uneconomic,” as cash becomes more obscure and consumers opt to bank online.
A spokeswoman for the bank commented: "Our decision to close these branches have been made due to the decreased number of customers using face-to-face services in recent years."
In 2019, ANZ has closed 20 branches in South Australia and Victoria, with 12 being located in metro areas.
David Scanlon, FSU local executive secretary for Victoria and Tasmania said that ANZ had closed 33 branches around Australia in the past year.
“The major banks all hide behind the excuse that the numbers of customers using the branch has fallen because they are moving to internet banking but we know that’s just a fairy tale,” Mr Scanlon said.
“The real reason the bank close branches is because the branch is not generating enough profits for the bank. It is a disgrace that ANZ is blaming customers for its ‘decision to shut branches.’”
He added banks should understand the impact on customers and local communities when they desert towns and suburbs.
“The ANZ is dumping these communities and walking away from its customers and staff because it has chosen to put profits before people,” Mr Scanlon said.
The union has called for ANZ to consult with workers and communities before making the decision to close branches.
“The ABA [Australian Banking Association] [protocol] on branch closures should require banks to consult with local communities when deciding on the future of their branch networks,” Mr Scanlon said.
“In most cases, no community consultation is being conducted.”
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].