From the Newsroom

Many CBA customers became aware of the banks closure via a sign on the front door. Image: contributed

CBA abandons Maclean customers

Geoff Helisma

The Maclean branch of the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) will close its doors and remove its ATM on November 14.

“The town of Maclean is devastated with the news that our CBA branch is permanently closing from 4 pm on Friday, November 19, 2021,” president of Maclean the Scottish Town in Australia Committee and town stalwart, Bob MacPherson, wrote in an email, tipping off the Independent.

“Long loyal customers like me are just dumped without any direct word, all we get is a notice stuck on the bank door.

“Senior bank customers deserve better than being treated like we are just old and not considered anymore.

“Shame on the bank administrators.”

Tina Hill, proprietor of Ashby-based business, Hills 2 Ocean Plumbing, described the bank’s advice, “you can travel to Yamba or Grafton” to make cash deposits, as “ridiculous”; and said that the other option, banking at the Maclean Post Office, “takes 3 or 4 days to process”.

Ms Young contacted Page MP Kevin Hogan, however, he responded with an email stating, “You could start a local petition and get support from residents and local businesses.

“I also encourage you to make a complaint directly to the CBA, you can do so here – https://www.commbank.com.au/support/compliments-and-complaints.html.

Mark Kelly, Maclean Variety Meats proprietor, said he CBA’s decision is “bewildering”.

“Big corporations should stop just thinking about money, it’s not real flash,” he said.

“[The closure’s] an inconvenience for us, more than anything, but it will take more people out of the town who work here.

“It’s another empty shop in the town, and we don’t need that.”

Theresa Edwina Brook and Leanne Wakefield from Heart of Space “think the closure will affect many businesses that are with the CBA”.

“In business, you need to be able to get change a lot and you need to be able to speak to them in regard to running a business,” Ms Brook said.

“I think the ladies at the post office have got a lot more to do, other than banking, considering the online shopping that is going on; it’s very busy up there all of the time.

“If you have some $50 notes, you can’t just ask other businesses to cash them for change, and you can’t go into another bank unless you have an account there.”

An employee of a business that doesn’t bank the CBA, recalled a conversation she had when the St George Bank closed in 2015.

“Pensioners commented [to me] that they actually catch the bus to Grafton, once every month or two months, to sort out their banking,” she said.

Maclean Chamber of Commerce president, Christine Tyler, said, “it’s going to be the older generations who suffer most if they take away the ATM”.

When NAB [National Australia Bank] moved they took the ATM; if Westpac go, too, there will not be a lot of options,” she said.

She said that businesses’ “need easy access cash for floats” and change would be limited, short of opening an account with one of the two remaining banks, BCU or Westpac.

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