BANK CLOSURE: Clarence Valley customers to fight decision
THE closing of Yamba's ANZ Bank branch in October will be a blow for local businesses who still rely on cash transactions, says the town's chamber of commerce.
Chamber president Debbie McCredie said having a local bank branch was vital for her business, the Yamba Cinema, because she regularly made cash deposits at the bank.
"The letter we got from the bank saying it would close said businesses could either bank at the Grafton branch or use the post office," Mrs McCredie said.
"Neither of those is a good option for my business. Grafton is an hour away and I don't want to make a two-hour round trip just to do my banking.
"And the post office is not good for business like mine. I just don't think they will have the facilities to handle that amount of money."
Mrs McCredie said every week she bought at least $500 in $2 coins from the bank for her businesses float.
"In holiday periods it's more, about $200 worth every day. I can't see the post office being able to handle those sorts of transactions.
"And their staff aren't trained for it."
Ms McCredie said the bank's decision could affect a lot of businesses.
"When the chamber executive was discussing the decision, four of the seven of us were ANZ customers.
Mrs McCredie said the banks had been closing branches in the region for years, ignoring the wishes of customers.
"We're going to have to do something about this as a community," she said.
"We're going to have to lobby the bank somehow to see if they can rethink their position somehow and change their mind about this."
The bank confirmed the closure, citing a big drop in face to face customer usage.
ANZ district manager Cheryl Patterson said bank customers were increasingly choosing online options and ATMs to do their banking.
"It's a part of a broader change in the way people prefer to do their banking" she said. "As a result, fewer customers are using our Yamba branch."
Ms Patterson said the decision to close the branch was not taken lightly
"We apologise for the inconvenience we know this will cause some of our customers. This has been a difficult decision," she said.
"Of our customers who have Yamba as their home branch, only 17 per cent of them currently use the branch with 64 per cent of them preferring internet or mobile banking."
Ms Patterson said the bank has put in place a number of options for our customers to continue their banking including Bank@Post, online and mobile banking.
"There will also be an ANZ ATM will be located in Yamba, either at the current branch location or nearby," she said.
The bank would like customers to speak to the team at the branch before October 9, to discuss which banking options will best suit them in the future.
Ms Patterson said the bank was talking with staff who work at the branch to offer support and attempt to redeploy them at other branches.
On the Daily Examiner Facebook page, customers have added to the frustration: