Westpac withdrawal from Somerville


WESTPAC Bank is closing its Centro Somerville branch on Friday 18 March.

A spokeswoman said the seven-year-old branch was “amalgamating” with the branch at 70 High St, Hastings.

She said three of the five Somerville staff would be redeployed to Hastings and the bank was “looking for redeployment opportunities for the other two”.

“We have made changes to our branch network across Australia because over-the-counter transactions have steadily declined as a significant number of customers prefer digital banking options, such as mobile banking, internet banking and smart ATMs,” she said.

She said customers could make deposits and withdrawals, query account balances, pay bills and make business-banking transactions at the Australia Post outlet at Somerville.

The move by Westpac is the reverse of that made by another of Australia’s “Big Four” banks.

The ANZ earlier this month merged its Hastings branch with the Somerville branch at Somerville Plaza.

District manager Melinda Van Krieken late last year told Hastings MP Neale Burgess that reduced foot traffic in Hastings over the past year was to blame.

Mr Burgess said the bank had “been hoping development of the port of Hastings would reverse that trend”.

First published in the Western Port News – 23 February 2016


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