Blayney businesses look for banking options elsewhere

Reliance Bank's Narelle Vickery is ready to help businesses transition to community banking.
Reliance Bank's Narelle Vickery is ready to help businesses transition to community banking.

For years Hills and Croft Blayney owner Angus Pryse-Jones has banked with the Commonwealth Bank.

A quick saunter across the road, a nod and a chat and the banking was done.

It was pretty much the same for CBA shareholder and account holder Bob Stanbridge who sees the closure of bank branches as a detriment to small business, and a major inconvenience for locals.

Both of them expressed their disappointment directly to CBA head of retail banking Angus Sullivan on Wednesday, highlighting the lack of communication from the bank as being one of their main grievances.

"There has been an appalling lack of information as to what the bank was going to do," Mr Stanbridge said.

"We didn't even receive a letter saying it was going to close. We had no clue it was going to happen. There has been no information on using the post office and no one else at that meeting received anything either."

Mr Pryse-Jones said that the first he'd heard about the branch closing was when he did the daily banking, and the follow-up information on how to use the post office has been non-existent.

Mr Pryse-Jones also questioned the executives on why the bank's ATM was being removed and is concerned about Blayney running out of cash.

"With only the NAB having an ATM in town, what happens when it goes down? There's a limit to how much people can withdraw from the supermarket. Blayney could be left without cash," he said.

Mr Stanbridge pointed out that residents on restricted licences couldn't go to Orange or Bathurst to bank, and those that could travel would most likely do all their other shopping in those centres as well.

"Now that people have to go and bank in Orange or Bathurst they'll be doing there shopping there as well," he said. "So rather than shopping at the supermarket here they'll do it there."

Both Mr Stanbridge and Mr Pryse-Jones are now looking at options other than CBA for their regular banking.

"Other banks have always approached us for loans, but we were loyal to the Commonwealth Bank because we wanted them to stay in Blayney," Mr Stanbridge said.

"Now though because they've left town there's no reason for us or anyone to stay loyal to them. There are a lot of options out there in banking."

Mr Pryse-Jones is also considering his options.

"I'm looking at changing my accounts to someone who is willing to provide me with a service," he said. "If that happens to be Reliance I'll change to Reliance."