SHUTDOWN: Axe to fall on another Ipswich business
A DECLINE in foot traffic is partly to blame for the closure of Commonwealth Bank Australia’s Booval Fair branch.
The shutdown was revealed just last week after a notice announcing the unfortunate decision was displayed at the site.
Regional general manager Kylie Hall said transactions at the branch had almost halved in the past five years.
The long-standing site is set to shut for good following a day of trading on March 5.
LOCAL NEWS: Bus destroys vehicles parked on suburban street
“Following a recent review and in line with our lease expiry, we made the difficult decision to permanently close the Booval branch,” she said.
The onslaught of coronavirus also proved a key contributor to its inevitable demise, with more customers reportedly turning to digital services.
Ms Hall said the banking giant regularly reviewed branch locations to make informed decisions on whether to open, close or upgrade sites.
Prior to the pandemic, about two-thirds of customers reportedly used online channels for everyday banking needs.
Only six per cent of customers visited Commonwealth Bank branches nationwide.
“While we recognise branches play an important role in delivering great service, many of our customers are increasingly choosing to use our online channels for their banking,” Ms Hall said.
Members of the community have taken to social media to express concern for older customers who may be unable to use digital services.
Anna Desmonde labelled the closure an “outrage,” saying other branch locations were too far away for her 85-year-old mother to visit.
“Older people who don’t use computers do – what an ageist outrage to close it on them,” she wrote.
Ms Hall said in response customers over the age of 60 were well supported
“More than twice as many had accessed Netbank or the Commbank App in the past month, compared to the number who had visited a branch in the last three months,” she said.
“We do recognise that some older customers do 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.”
Customers are still able to complete transactions at Booval Fair’s Australia Post outlet.
“We’ve ensured customers who prefer over-the-counter service still have access to this option,” Ms Hall said.
“For Booval customers, we have nearby branches at Ipswich, Redbank and Goodna.
“We’ve also found that over 40 per cent of customers from Booval are already visiting these nearby branches.”
Current employees at the branch will be offered redeployment opportunities.
Ms Hall said there would be no job losses as result of the closure.
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.