3 July, 2024

Banks are in – and out

ANOTHER bank branch is closing in the Cairns CBD, while one financial institution has declared its commitment to face-to-face service in the inner city.

Banks are in – and out - feature photo

Bendigo has closed its Sheridan St branch and is referring customers to its Westcourt, Smithfield and Edmonton branches.

Queensland Country Bank, a member-owned institution, says it is bucking industry trend and remains dedicated to customers in the Cains CBD and at Earlville.

Cairns and Earlville area manager Brad Dwyer said ongoing accolades from multiple independent bodies in recent years supported the success of their member-first model.

“Being a member-owned bank means we’re able to give back to local associations through grants and sponsorships and reinvest our profits back into the communities that support us,” he said.

Over the past three years, there has been a notable increase in regional branch closures, including Westpac and St George in the CBD.

Despite this trend, Mr Dwyer said Queensland Country Bank was member and customer first.

“Members now have multiple choices in how they want to bank, and while other institutions are scaling back their offerings, we’re instead focused on adapting to meet the evolving needs of our members here in Cairns,” he said.

“While we have seen an increase in online banking services, we also recognise that many of our Cairns members value having the option to come into the branch and have a meaningful conversation about their financial goals.”

Mr Dwyer said their call centre was in Queensland which meant their Cairns members could speak to a local representative whenever they needed additional support.

“We’re committed to ensuring the Cairns community has access to the support they need, whether that be online or in-person,” he said.

“During these uncertain times, we are committed to remaining a constant presence in the community and supporting the Cairns region for many years to come.”

A Bendigo Bank spokesman said the closure of the Sheridan St branch followed a review of evolving customer preferences, transaction activity and visitor numbers.

He said it was “difficult” to close the branch.

“This decision takes into consideration the proximity of the three other branches in the surrounding area,” the spokesman said.

“The bank is working to ensure the impacts to our customers and our staff are minimal. All staff will be retained and redeployed in our other local branches,” he said.

The bank is considering ways to re-open a branch at Mossman which was temporarily closed after sustaining significant water damage during Cyclone Jasper, followed by a second major weather event in March.  

“Bendigo Bank is actively working to restore face-to-face banking services in Mossman, but the safety and security of our customers, our people and our infrastructure is non-negotiable and our number one priority,” the spokesman said.

He said the bank thanked customers for their patience and  further updates would be provided as soon as possible.


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