Banking taskforce to visit Orange as submissions sought

Banks under spotlight.
Banks under spotlight.

Orange residents unhappy with the town's banking services have until December 18 to make a submission to the Regional Banking Taskforce.

The taskforce is also due to visit Orange after Member for Orange Andrew Gee delivered a Constituency Statement in the Australian Parliament calling for members to visit the Central West to hear and see firsthand the impact bank closures are having on Calare communities.

"I welcome the inclusion of Orange in the Taskforce's proceedings," he said.

"It will allow Taskforce members to get a clear picture of the detrimental impacts branch closures and service reductions are having on loyal bank customers in our area.

"The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has pulled out of Molong, Portland and Blayney, and halved its opening hours in Gulgong, Wellington and Oberon.

"The National Bank of Australia has shut up shop in Blayney and Canowindra, and the ANZ has shut its Cowra branch. The list goes on and on.

"This is not a new trend. All the big banks are doing it and it's only getting worse.

"The Cabonne Shire is home to nearly 14-thousand people in 17 towns and villages, but it no longer has a single stand-alone bank branch.

"By visiting our area, the Taskforce will be able to better understand the full impact the sector's demise is having on regional communities and meet its Terms of Reference.

"Members will be able to see the fallout and talk to personal, business and charity bank customers about how they're best trying to handle the banks' exit from Central West towns."

Mr Gee said many of the big banks customers in regional areas had difficulties with online banking services.

Minister for Regionalisation Bridget McKenzie said the taskforce will provide a platform to establish how the transformation within the banking industry, particularly branch closures, has affected those living in centres like Canowindra.

"Having access to bank branches is vital for every community, particularly for residents who are unable to use online services," she said.

Submissions can be made by Email regionalbanking@treasury.gov.au or mail to the Secretariat, Regional Banking Taskforce, Financial System Division, The Treasury, Langton Crescent, PARKES, ACT, 2600.