NAB cops heat after more branch closures declared

FSU Branch Closure NAB

National Australia Bank (NAB) will shutter another five bank branches, including four in regional Australia and one in Sydney’s CBD, with the financial sector employees union declaring the move “out of step with” its fellow major banks.

NAB notified the Finance Sector Union (FSU) that it will close branches in Tuggeranong, ACT; Scone, NSW; Emerald, Victoria; Runaway Bay, Queensland; and Balmain, NSW.

FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano blasted the move, saying the closures are “a betrayal of the community and staff in these areas and will make banking harder for older people, businesses and anyone who needs to speak to a banker face to face”.

She added: “It is a disgrace that NAB continues to aggressively pursue its branch closure strategy without genuine community engagement or employee consultation.”

NAB is one of the only big four banks to refuse a moratorium on further regional branch closures, which the other major banks have committed to.

NAB, which previously maintained an informal policy to halt regional branch closures, quietly lifted this restriction in 2021.

The FSU said the closures put NAB “at odds with the Senate Inquiry into Regional Bank Closures and fails to take account of community concern about branch closures”.

“The CBA has seen the growth potential in keeping branches open and maintaining its branch network and the NAB should follow suit,” said Angrisano.

CBA vowed to extend its moratorium on bank closures until at least the end of 2026, with ANZ and Westpac stating they would pause regional branch closures until at least the conclusion of the Inquiry next year.

As reported, Australia has seen a record rate of decline in total physical bank branches over the last financial year, with more than one in 10 branches closing across the country.

Angrisano concluded: “After delivering an annual profit of $7.7 billion, NAB is still using branch closures to cut costs and boost profits. The bank could easily invest in these communities who rely on branches to meet their banking needs instead of shut them down.”

“NAB needs to wake up to the real needs of customers, save the jobs of bank workers and keep these branches open.”