ANZ branch closing “There’s no loyalty”

ANZ branch closing “There’s no loyalty”

ANZ branch
Ricky Ferns says many of his customers are not comfortable using internet banking and rely on visiting their local ANZ branch. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A local business owner was taken aback last week to find out the ANZ branch he has been using for more than two decades is closing its doors – and he didn’t hear it from the horse’s mouth.

Pest controller Ricky Ferns says he has been a customer of the sole ANZ branch in the City of Armadale since 1996, and frequently visits the bank to deposit cash and cheques from his customers.

Last week, when speaking to one of those customers, he was alarmed to hear that the branch was due to close its doors on November 30.

“One of my customers said to me they were in the middle of changing banks because ANZ is closing,” Mr Ferns, who runs Intercept Environmental Pest Management, said.

“I’ll have to change all my paperwork, it has my BSB and account number details on all of it, all my auto payments are going to have to change.”

Mr Ferns said he was due to visit the bank to deposit around $2000 in cash he had been paid when he heard the news.

“When I was at the bank, no one in the queue knew about,” he said.

“I asked the guy at the counter and he said yes, I asked him where is the closest bank and he said Maddington.

“There’s no loyalty, it’s just about the shareholders and profits.”

ANZ district manager Doris Schneider said customers prefer online and digital banking as opposed to visiting a branch, and that mobile lenders and the bank’s customer care team were available for support.

“Customers are changing the way they choose to bank, preferring online and digital banking methods, which are convenient and secure,” Ms Schneider said.

“Over the past four years, we’ve seen a 50 per cent decline in in-branch transactions across ANZ.

“We have personally written to our Armadale customers to help them with alternative banking methods including online banking, mobile lenders and mobile banking.

“Our business customers will continue to receive visits from their relationship bankers at their locations and remain available on the phone.

“Customers can visit our Maddington, Livingston and Carousel branches for face-to-face banking services.”

Mr Ferns said the closure of the Armadale branch, while suburban branches remained open didn’t make sense.

“My gripe is we’re not a suburb, we’re a city – Armadale has put in this new infrastructure to bring people in and now we’re losing a bank,” he said.

“There are people who need to do banking here. Most of the customers in the bank are older, they don’t use bank transfers, half the time they say they don’t even have a computer.

“As a city we seem to be losing everything.”