Shire of Waroona calls on NAB to reconsider branch closure

Shire of Waroona President Mike Walmsley at NAB Waroona. PIC: Supplied

The Shire of Waroona is urging the National Australia Bank (NAB) to reconsider their decision to close down their local branch.

The bank recently announced it will close the doors of their Waroona branch and ATM on November 17.

Shire of Waroona President Mike Walmsley said there had been lack of consultation with the Shire and the broader community and said the decision carried massive implications for residents, businesses, and community vitality. 

“The NAB is the only bank here and its closure will disproportionately affect our Shire’s aging population. These residents rely on the presence of a physical branch and personal interactions with bank tellers to manage their financial affairs securely,” Cr Walmsley said.

NAB's decision comes just a week after a senate inquiry was triggered following a string of branch closures across regional Australia.

In a fact sheet sent to Waroona customers, NAB said before the decision was made they "took a lot into consideration". 

"Closing a branch is always a difficult decision and we understand the change can be a big adjustment for some customers," it read.

"Over the past few years, fewer customers are coming into branches to do their banking and foot traffic has lessened.

"Approximately 48% of our customers in Waroona have only visited the branch once in the last year."

From November 17, Waroona NAB customers will have to travel to the Mandurah branch for face-to-face banking services.

Customers will also be able to withdraw cash, deposit cash and cheques, and check account balances at the Waroona Post Office.

Cr Walmsley said that many residents were NAB customers and removing the NAB ATM, in addition to the branch closure, will add to the financial burden of residents who will now face charges to withdraw money from alternative sources.

“Our residents deserve better. We call on NAB to stand by its commitment to supporting local communities and to uphold its responsibilities to the people of Waroona,” Cr Walmsley said.

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