Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters MP.

Federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has bemoaned the announcement of yet another bank closure in the region.

The Kangaroo Flat Commonwealth Bank branch recently announced it will close its doors, joining the town’s Westpac branch and Eaglehawk’s NAB, that has already shut.

“It’s really disappointing on two levels. Where these bank branches are is close to some of our older Bendigo residents that might not be driving, so it impacts on customers,” Ms Chesters said.

“Secondly, it impacts on people working in those banks. My question for the big four is where will these people work?”

Ms Chesters said that there is a “moral expectation” for the big four to do more.

“As they withdraw from the region, people will choose to bank with Bendigo Bank or another bank in the community,” she said.

With the big banks shying away from Bendigo, the MP has renewed her support for community banks.

“I can understand why people choose to bank with Bendigo Bank. You see the way which they invest in the community. I’m a big fan of the community banking model, particularly how it helps smaller towns like Elmore and Maldon,” Ms Chesters said.

She stressed the impact of the closures on bank workers, remarking that some employees are even considering a career change.

“I’m sure that many workers will be looking to transfer to another bank, some might take an early retirement or go onto the casual roster of other branches, but these banks are making a lot of profit, and choosing not to stay invested in the region,” she said.

 

–  NICHOLAS NAKOS