Coker slams bank closure

By Justin Flynn

Federal Member for Corangamite Libby Coker has called on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to reconsider closing its Drysdale branch, slamming the decision as “disrespectful of customers”.

Ms Coker said the news was a bitter blow for the people of Drysdale coming in the wake of the National Australia Bank (NAB) closing its Drysdale branch earlier this year.

“I’m very disappointed to hear news of a second bank in Drysdale closing – customers clearly come second to profits for the big banks,” Ms Coker said.

“The Drysdale CBA is an important branch for many in that community. The closure will particularly impact the elderly, and those who are less skilled at on-line technologies. There are times people need to go into a branch for personal assistance.

“Many local businesses will still want to continue doing their weekly or daily banking in Drysdale. To announce that the Drysdale branch will now become part of the Ocean Grove Branch is not only impractical, it’s insulting. I am also concerned about the future of the staff.”

CBA regional manager David Castle said the closure was a “difficult decision”.

“This branch has had transactions drop by a third over the five years before the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

“We’ve redeployed the vast majority of staff from branches that have closed. Our people from Drysdale branch will be offered redeployment opportunities, including roles supporting customers over the phone and online, or other comparable roles where it suits them.

“We recognise some senior customers prefer to do their banking face-to-face and this is one of the reasons why CBA is proud to maintain the largest branch network in the country.

“We’ve ensured customers who prefer over-the-counter service still have access to this option. For Drysdale customers, we have other branches in the region at Ocean Grove, Geelong, Geelong West and Belmont. We’ve found a quarter of customers from Drysdale are already visiting these other branches.”

The branch will close on Friday September 9.