The attitude of the private banks towards Australians can be seen in their aggressive campaign of branch closures and removal of ATMs—they don’t see themselves as a service; they see people as sources of profit to be exploited in the cheapest and nastiest way they can get away with.
And the government lets them get away with anything.
Independent journalist Dale Webster from The Regional has undertaken extraordinary, painstaking work to detail the full picture of bank branch closures in Australia, because the bank regulator APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) is supposed to keep accurate records, but doesn’t.
The scale of the problem led to the Morrison government establishing a Regional Banking Taskforce, and extensive coverage in the news media; however, such is the cynicism about whether government will ever take on the banks, the Finance Sector Union attacked the taskforce as a desperate pre-election political stunt, and NSW Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Helen Dalton called it “a complete and utter scam”.
Click here to read Dale Webster’s article on the taskforce: “Regional banking inquiry reopens political divide”.
STATE of BANKING in Australia: The national picture
Disclaimer: This data is limited regional and rural Australia and doesn't include branch closure data for metro areas. Source: Dale Webster of The Regional
Regional Australia has lost 62% of its banks since 1975.
This is a loss of 1,738 banks in 1,003 regional towns, cities and coastal communities in just over 45 years.
Just 1,064 remain open (May 2022).
There are 146 communities in regional Australia that only have one bank— of these, 92 have no minor banks to fall back on.
The “Big Four” in Regional Australia
ANZ now has the smallest regional bank network in Australia with just 191 of its original 615 branches outside metropolitan cities still open, a cut of 69%.
Westpac has the second smallest regional footprint but has slashed 70.5% of non-metropolitan branches leaving it with 228 from its original 777
National Australia Bank has 311 regional branches still open but has closed (or cut services to a point where the facility is no longer classified a bank branch) at 449 locations. This is a cut of 59% of its original regional network of 760.
Commonwealth Bank is the only one of the “big four” that still has more regional branches open than it has closed, but only just, with 334 of its original 650 remaining open, a 49% reduction.
APPEAL: AS THE BANK REGULATOR DOES NOT RECORD BRANCH CLOSURES ACCURATELY, PLEASE CONTACT THE CITIZENS PARTY WITH ANY INFORMATION ON BANK BRANCH CLOSURES, AND ATM REMOVALS, IN YOUR AREA, TO HELP COMPILE AN ACCURATE PICTURE: EMAIL INFO@CITIZENSPARTY.ORG.AU OR CALL 1800 636 432