Give with one hand and whack over the head with the other

HATS off to the Commonwealth Bank for volunteering to pause regional branch closures while a Senate inquiry into the impact of said closures on small communities gets underway.

As a sign of “good faith” the CBA said it was pausing the closure of two branches. That must hurt.

It’s all too little too late for the hinterland though with the CBA cutting and running last year.

It followed the ANZ, which exited the year prior. Just the BoQ waves the flag now for full service banking in the region.

Interestingly the bank made its “good faith” announcement just a week before announcing another headline-making revelation: That it recorded a $5.15 billion half year profit.

That’s a 9 per cent rise at a time when rates and talk of rates are dragging everyone into the doldrums.

Do you remember the time when the big banks all made a song and dance about volunteering to scrap fees when people used opposition ATM services.

We were meant to believe they were doing this out of the goodness of their bleeding hearts.

But then not long after they started ripping all their ATMs out of walls around the country and now we’re charged $2.50 or more by private operators for the privilege of holding cash.

I’m sure the CBA has already largely delivered on its scorched-earth regional closures KPIs, so let’s take this temporary pause on closures with a grain of salt.

Thanks big banks, we’re grateful for your service.


THE disruption to private parking operations is an interesting development.

Beerwah introduced three-hour limits last year, which set a croc among the pigeons at the Marketplace.

Things seemed to have settled but there was always something a bit smelly about car park operators issuing fees (not fines), for overstaying time limits at shopping centres etc. 

Transport Minister Mark Bailey has now stopped operators accessing registration details to pursue breach notices and while private operators have been a bit quiet, ASX-listed Smart Parking – whose shares fell sharply after the announcement – put out a statement that said the move would have an effect on its Queensland operations.

I’m no anarchist so I wouldn’t advise people to not pay their ‘breach notice’ and see what happens, but if, of your own volition, you didn’t pay up – were you even driving the car that day? – it would be interesting to see how far the matter would be pursued.

Do you want to ‘fine’ out?