The closing of four financial institution branches within the Mid West and Wheatbelt has been slammed as “callous” and “out of step” by the State’s Opposition Leader and a “huge blow” to communities nonetheless reeling from the impacts of Cyclone Seroja.
During the following three months, National Australia Bank will shut up store in Wyalkatchem, Three Springs, Kondinin and Wagin, citing “decline in foot traffic” for the decision.
WA Nationals chief and Central Wheatbelt MLA Mia Davies known as it a blow to the communities who “relied on bank presence for their financial services, including household, business, and personal transactions”.
“During a time of uncertainty, with a pandemic, significant weather events, and growing housing and health crises, this news adds insult to injury to regional West Australians,” she mentioned.
She known as the decision “out of step” with group expectations.
“NAB’s decision based on decline in foot-traffic through the affected branches shows an organisation unable to adapt to changing circumstances such as a global pandemic and a callous approach to supporting communities during a time of need,” Ms Davies mentioned.
“In the wake of the Royal Commission into the banking sector which included investigation into the culture and governance of banks and financial institutions, you’d think there’d be thought given to more than the bottom line for services like this.
“I know they’re not the only major bank to withdraw services from small country communities, but it’s a bit rich to suggest they’re making the decision off a decline in foot traffic in branches over the past 12 months.”
Moore MLA Shane Love known as it a “huge blow” to communities nonetheless coping with the aftermath of Cyclone Seroja.
“There are many areas, people, homes and businesses that were badly affected by the cyclone — it is well-known the widespread rebuilding effort could take years,” he mentioned.
NAB’s decision to close the branches comes simply three months after ex-tropical cyclone Seroja ripped by way of WA’s Mid West, upturning roofs and employees lodging, tearing fences from their stumps and plunging already distant communities into darkness and with out cellphone sign.
The true extent of the path of destruction — which spanned 13 native governments — is just now being realised, as farmers wrap up seeding and are confronted with the clear up.
Power was restored to all houses affected simply this week.
In the wake of the cyclone, Mr Love mentioned banks ought to be on the bottom offering much-needed help for these experiencing “devastating losses”.
“Banks need to have a presence in these communities to understand their situation, and instead of closing doors based on algorithms, these organisations should work humanely and lend a helping hand wherever needed,” he mentioned.
In the times following the cyclone, NAB prolonged $2000 grants to prospects to assist cowl prices together with short-term lodging, meals and clothes, broken property, fencing, tools and loss of livestock.
NAB Closing Dates
Wyalkatchem — September 9
Three Springs — September 10
Kondinin and Wagin — July 30
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