WESTPAC BRANCH CLOSURE OUTRAGE
Posted in Media on Tuesday, 31 July, 2012
Threats by Westpac to close the last remaining bank branch in Sea Lake will be fought tooth and nail by John Forrest, the Nationals Federal Member for Mallee.
In a surprising move from Westpac, who are one of the too few good guys in the banking industry, Mr Forrest said he remains confused as to why they would close a profitable branch that has some huge customers. Customers include the school, fuel dealers, machinery dealers and some huge grain growers who are not all that thrilled to have to drive to Swan Hill to bank their sizable cheques.
“Whilst I understand the nature of banking is changing due to the internet and telephone transactions and that therefore a walk up presence of banks is not the priority it used to be, the cost by Westpac to maintain an agency through the Sea Lake Newsagency would be minimal,’ Mr Forrest said.
“To their credit, Westpac did brief me on this proposal some time ago and I said I would await the reaction of the Sea Lake community, particularly customers and in particular pensioners. However, the reaction from the community has been outrage and I will stand by this grand little town and back up their representations on this matter.”
“Sea Lake is wonderful community that fights hard to maintain its important services. Saving the hospital was a great example,” Mr Forrest said.
“I will give Westpac an opportunity to reconsider this shock announcement and invite them to conduct a public meeting if they wish to continue this outrage,” Mr Forrest said.
“The timing of this announcement with the Speed Mallee Field Days gives us an opportunity to protest with the support of the wider community.”
“Let’s hope they reconsider and negotiate a new deal with the agency,” Mr Forrest said.