Bank is cashing out

By Kirra Livingstone

THE last of the Big Four banks will permanently close its doors in the hinterland in September.

The Commonwealth Bank this month told customers, via signage on the front door of its Beerwah branch, that it would close on September 2, directing people to its Caloundra branch or the local post office.

The closure comes after ANZ closed its Beerwah branch in February last year and leaves the Bank of Queensland as the only full-service banking option in the region.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said customers were “justified in their disappointment”.

“I have contacted the Commonwealth Bank to express the disappointment and frustration of so many locals,” he told GC&M News.

“Decisions such as these are short-sighted given the continual growth of the Beerwah community and its surrounds.”

CBA Regional General Manager Kylie Hall said a recent review of the branch, in line with the expiry of its lease, meant the bank “made the difficult decision to permanently close our Beerwah branch”.

“This branch has had a 33 per cent drop in transactions over the five years before the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.

Staff would be redeployed with Beerwah staff offered opportunities “supporting customers over the phone and online”.

But CBA customer Diana Michael said she loved getting “proper customer service” from the branch and was worried how others in the community would cope.

“I had a conversation with the staff and the other people coming in expressing their concerns and shock as well,” she said.

Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski said: “It is disappointing that this announcement wasn’t conveyed to our local community and businesses in a more negotiable way.”

He said the loss of the CBA branch for some personal transactions or businesses “will now have to take a backward step for Beerwah customers”.

Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce president Jenny Broderick said that the move would upset a lot of business customers, especially after ANZ closed in February last year.

“There’ll be a significant upset from businesses in particular that made the move from ANZ to Comm Bank thinking that CBA would be around for an extended period of time,” Jenny said.

“For businesses banking money regularly, they will notice the effects the most.

“Thankfully we’ve got BoQ, and (owner/manager) Martin is committed to the region for at least 10 years.”

Recent bank closures
Suncorp Maleny and Beerwah – 2017
Westpac Beerwah – Nov 2018
ANZ Beerwah – Feb 2021
CBA Beerwah – Sep 2022

Facebook reaction

Not bloody happy Jan, was told many times that they would never close, their customers were too valuable they said.
Margaret Johnson

Beerwah is developing so quickly the Bank is needed in this town. Stupid decision.
Pat Plowman

Now what do our 88 year old parents do. They changed from ANZ to commonwealth.
John Henry

Branches closing for greater bank profits has been going on for decades now; this really shouldn’t come as a shock.
Drew Sanderson

And with that I too will close down my Commonwealth bank account and moving next door
Travis Crouch

Leave the atm at least ya knobs.
Johnny Wuttrich