Grenfell residents should get behind financial institutions that show loyalty to the town, Weddin Shire mayor Mark Liebich said after it was revealed the NAB is considering closing its branch in the town.
Cr Liebich said there was still a chance the branch could stay open and he remained hopeful the NAB would choose to do so.
However if they chose to leave, he said residents should look at transferring to the Bendigo Bank, who will be the sole remaining retail banker in town.
“It’s disappointing the NAB has chosen to leave Grenfell. The government forces us to use banks for so many things but then the banks pull out of towns,” Cr Liebich said.
It’s disappointing the NAB has chosen to leave Grenfell.Weddin Shire Mayor - Clr Mark Liebich
“The bank says it’s because of the lack of people who are walking through the door but the bank offered limited services, which forced people to go to other towns for some of their banking.
”If they [NAB] leave I would be pushing people to use the Bendigo Bank.”
Cr Liebich said the council hadn’t been given prior warning about the closure because a union had leaked the news.
“Unfortunately the NAB pulling out was leaked by the unions and the NAB didn’t get the opportunity to follow their procedure,” he said.
“They have told us there has been no final decision so we might still be able to negotiate with them but it looks like there will be quite a few branches they are planning to close.”
The Grenfell branch is one of seven planned for closure by the NAB, with others at Culcairn, Ardlethan, Lockhart and Barham.
NAB spokesperson Alyssia Morison said the bank was investigating changes to its branches in the Riverina and they would let customers know once a decision was made.
“Like any business, throughout the year we will open, close, relocate and refresh our branches,” Ms Morison said in a statement.
“We’ve seen between 80 and 90% of customers who do their banking at Culcairn, Grenfell, Ardlethan, Lockhart and Barham visit other NAB branches in the area.”
The NAB didn’t respond to direct questions, including how many employees would be affected if the Grenfell branch closes, but said they would assist staff.
“When we make changes to our branches, we make every effort to find opportunities for our local teams at other branches in our network,” Ms Morison said.
“If we can’t find opportunities at other locations, we will help our employees to be job ready by providing retraining and job placement support, along with full entitlements.”
Should Grenfell’s NAB branch close residents will be left with few options to conduct their banking here in town.
The Bendigo Bank branch located at Aston & Joyce Real Estate, the Central West Credit Union agency situated at Council’s offices along with the Grenfell Post Shop in Camp Street will remain the only three institutions left in the town where you can conduct financial transactions in person.