I write with reference to the proposed closure of the Commonwealth Bank Branch in Portland on November 26.
Most recent comments on the matter have more or less indicated a “put up the white flag” attitude, but that should not be the case.
Sadly the bank has been faceless on their proposal and been ignorant on the whole issue. Before they even contemplate closing the branch they have to comply with the Protocol of the Australian Bankers Association which states:
- The bank will give customers and relevant organisations, including local government and community organisations, 12 weeks written notice of their intention to close a branch;
- Provide customers with information about accessing its services and offer customers education, training and assistance to help them adjust to changes in the way they access their alternative banking products and services, and
- Actively engage with customers and the community and formally respond to queries and concerns about he closure of the branch.
The word protocol has many meanings, which include code of behaviour, courtesies, decorum, etiquette, good manners, good form, propriety and rules of conduct. The bank should take note.
As the community knows the bank has not complied with any of those requirements, I am disgusted that as an account holder of the bank for the past 65 years, I have received no notice from the bank.
The notice advising closure outside the bank in my view does not cover the in writing requirement in the protocol.
The bank has failed to attend to requests to present themselves at community meetings, nor have they organised any community forum themselves. One would have thought they would be anxious to outline to the account holder and community their reasons for closure and outline what they will be doing for their account holders in the future, such as guarantee of ATM, which should also include a deposit facility, particularly for business, who may be required to deposit monies for safekeeping after hours and on weekends.
They have failed to notify community organisations and to my knowledge Local Government on the issue.
Reading their vision statements and objectives, indicates they have utmost responsibility for the welfare and consultation with staff, to my knowledge the local staff did not know of the closure until it happened, if that was the case it is also unacceptable and unfair to them.
This closure should not even be contemplated until all measures have been taken by the bank and the Royal Commission into the banks is completed and response dealt with by the Federal Government. It is acknowledged that the local member Andrew Gee has shown interest in the issue, however he only spoke to the bank themselves and needs to be forcing the issue with the Federal Treasurer and the Government, who are responsible for issuing licences to operate.