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CBA to partially close a tenth of its branches

The Commonwealth Bank has indicated that it will cut opening hours across 90 regional branches, with impacted staff to spend the rest of their working day giving remote customer support.

A number of CBA branches across NSW, the ACT, South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania are set to operate from 9.30am to 1pm.

Affected branch staff will operate the centres in the morning and switch to assisting CBA’s contact centres in the afternoons, which reportedly are receiving more than a million complex customer enquiries each month.

CBA has made the change after an internal consultation, noting that all of the locations have 24/7 access to ATMs.

Mark Jones, executive general manager, customer service network, commented that the bank has adapted its branches to meet “customers’ evolving needs while ensuring jobs stay in regional communities”.

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“We’re expanding our Australian-based contact centre network from five dedicated locations to over 90 communities across the country, while keeping a physical banking presence in regional communities,” Mr Jones said.

The following branches across NSW, South Australia and Western Australia will have reduced trading hours from 13 September:

NSW/ACT   SA WA
Batlow Narooma Bordertown Esperance

Bourke

Narrabri Kadina Katanning
Cobar Nyngan Murray Bridge Manjimup
Condobolin Oberon Naracoorte Merredin

Coonabarabran

Quirindi Nuriootpa Narrogin
Coonamble Scone Port Pirie Northam
Cootamundra Temora Robinvale (Vic)  
Deniliquin Tumut Victor Harbor  
Eden Warre    

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Wauchope    
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The new trading hours will also be implemented across Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland from 4 October at these specific locations:

Vic Tas Qld
Beechworth Deloraine Atherton
Camperdown Exeter Ayr
Charlton George Town Biloela
Donald Huonville Charleville
Euroa Latrobe Charters Towers
Foster Longford Childers
Kerang Scottsdale Chinchilla
Kyabram St Helens Goondiwindi
Lorne Wynyard Ingham
Maffra   Longreach
Mansfield   Murgon
Mount Beauty   Port Douglas
Myrtleford   Proserpine
Nhill   Roma
Numurkah   St George
Orbost   Tully
St Arnaud    
Warracknabeal    
Yarrawonga    
Yarra Glen    

Outside of the new trading hours, [email protected] will continue to be available at 3,500 Australia Post outlets.

CBA recently renewed its 110-year partnership with Australia Post until 2032, allowing personal and business customers to make withdrawals, deposits and bill payments.

“We understand these changes may be an adjustment for some of our customers, and the team at their local branch will continue to be available to help them find the solutions that best suit their needs,” Mr Jones said.

CBA reported the pandemic has not changed customer preferences towards digital and contact centre services, but in recent years it had seen a “significant” increase in customers self-serving via the app or NetBank. It now has 7.5 million digitally active customers.

The bank has committed to investing around $50 a million a year to its branch network, for upgrades, refurbishing and to open new centres where there is demand.

However, it recently indicated that it expects a reduction in branch and ATM numbers to continue over the rest of the year. CBA closed 53 branches between 7 March 2020 and 27 March 2021, and reported having 928 branches open as at 31 March (839 branded as CBA and 93 under subsidiary Bankwest).

Similar to CBA’s latest move, NAB partially closed 114 smaller regional branches in 2020, with staff opening branches in the mornings and moving to phone or online banking in the afternoon.

NAB recently indicated that it would be investing in a $100-million branch transformation program and opening four new-format branches across Sydney and Melbourne.

However, the changes came amid a review into its branch network. NAB closed 72 branches during 2020 and 2021, as at 25 May and had 548 branches across Australia.

But when queried by a parliamentary committee, the bank said it “cannot state with confidence” how many branches will be left by the end of the year.

ANZ and Westpac have similarly closed branches during 2020 and 2021 – ANZ closed 145 as at May, while Westpac had closed 80.

ANZ has signalled it will have 425 branches by the end of the year, with 23 more to close.

[Related: CBA writes ‘sustainable’ loan for agri business]

CBA to partially close a tenth of its branches
CBA to partially close tenth of branches
mortgagebusiness

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Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser. 

Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth for InvestorDaily and ifa.

You can contact her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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