Union says bank closures hurt communities

By Country News

The Finance Sector Union of Australia is concerned about the ANZ bank closing 12 branches around Australia.

The union says rural communities around Australia are being abandoned by the bank.

The ANZ recently announced it was closing the branch at Rochester and is planning other closures in Heidelberg and Abbotsford.

‘‘The closure of these 12 branches will lead to potential job losses for 43 bank workers at the same time the ANZ is forcing its customers to conduct their banking on the internet,’’ FSU Australia’s national secretary Julia Angrisano said.

‘‘These closures will hit rural communities hard and bank workers will be struggling to find other work in areas where jobs are scarce,’’ Ms Angrisano said.

‘‘Banking is an essential service, especially in regional communities, and customers rely on their bank having a branch that they can access.’’

Ms Angrisano said when a branch closed, it impacted on bank workers, the local community and the regional economy.

The Finance Sector Union is working with its members and the community to build an industry plan for the future of the finance sector.

A guiding principle for this plan is that banking is an essential service for communities.