The National Bank closed in my country town this week.
The ANZ and Westpac have both shut their branch doors in the past nine months.
I really hadn't been paying attention.
My own branch for CBA is still open, but probably not for too long.
The Bendigo Bank might hang around for a bit longer.
COVID lockdowns came along at a fairly handy time for these banks it seems.
Hundreds of country towns have lost their bank branches in the past few years.
Apparently no-one was going to the bank anymore.
But then again, no-one was going anywhere. It was pretty much against the law.
Still, it's partly my fault they have closed.
I have been so busy making sure the local butcher stays open by shelling out $10 for some snags every week or so, I dropped the ball.
I well know the importance of buy local.
If you want to keep them, you must support them.
I buy sausages. I am not a fan of that bright red and tough as boots supermarket meat so the butcher has to stay.
My meagre offerings at the bank would hardly bring the bank manager out from his cubicle with a party hat and balloons - plus accompanying celebration music of course.
No, you can keep the vault locked today, it's only Mr McLennan.
I hardly ever go, probably once or twice a year, if even that.
I don't even go to the outside cash machine.
I can't remember the last time I had any cash in my wallet.
Everything is online these days, and as I move my many millions offshore through the Bahamas or Cayman Islands (kidding) it is a push of some buttons.
The bank app on the phone takes care of most everything.
It's only when I can't figure something out I would consider heading to a branch.
Telstra has forever ruined my patience for call centres. Maybe it's their hold music.
I feel for the oldies (okay those much older than me, I am still four years from a Seniors card).
Most times in the branch folk are paying their bills or sorting stuff out with the help of staff they already know.
It's all very calming and reassuring.
There's a lot of new people in my town, escapees from the big city mostly.
They have been accused already of using our town as a place to sleep, but not to make their home.
To be fair, the sense of community has taken a battering these past few years.
I saw a lady openly sneeze in my supermarket a few weeks back.
No mask, no elbow hygiene either.
It was like someone dropped a hand grenade, I wasn't the only one who was horrified.
This getting back to normal business is going to take some getting used to.
I love living in the country and I love where I live.
I want our towns to live long and prosper (or is that Spock)?
But I am also a realist, if people like myself are not supporting a business with my custom, we can always do with more nail shops.
My town has a love affair with those bargain places, of the $2 shop variety.
Bye, bye banks, perhaps I won't miss you much, but I know others will and for that, I am sad.
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