Local Services

Banking on Condo

The Bendigo Community Bank is opening an Agency in Condobolin.

• (Back L-R) Hillston Bank Manager Paul Lenon, WPRD Chairman Dennis Brady, WPRD EO Tammy Bugg, Mayor and Shire Representative Cr Des Manwaring. (Front) Tim Butt Regional Manager Bendigo and Anne Coffey WPRD Treasurer. MB

By Anne Coffey

 

The Bendigo Community Bank is opening an Agency in Condobolin.

While major banks are leaving or cutting services to rural towns the Bendigo Bank is stepping in to fill the void and maintain face to face banking services for Condobolin.

The Hillston Branch of Bendigo Community Bank has been in talks with Western Plains Regional Development to set up an Agency in Condobolin since the announcement of the closure of the Westpac In-Store.

This agreement has been finalised and it is intended that the Agency will be fully operational within 6 to 8 weeks.

The Condobolin  Bendigo Bank Agency will offer a full range of banking services, from home loans, Term Deposits, Personal Loans to savings and cheque accounts with a strong and dedicated Agri Business lending and services Department, in fact, all banking products. It will be open every day from 10am to 4pm for customers’ convenience. The bank will also offer face to face consulting with a manager for loans. An answer will be given within  24 hours.

Not only will the Agency of Bendigo Bank channel any profits back to the community through maintaining WPRD services for the community, as profits grow, small grants will be available to community groups who are bank customers.

Bendigo Bank Hillston Manager Paul Lenon  and Tim Butt, Regional Manager, where in Condobolin on Friday 17 July to meet with members of the WPRD Committee and EO Tammy Bugg to finalise details and set a schedule for the Agencies opening.

“The setting up of the Bendigo Agency will see banking services and banking profits remain local” said Chairman of WPRD Dennis Brady.

“It is a huge win for the community and WPRD to keep services in our community.”

“Council is fully supportive of WPRD’s efforts in this area and we look forward to the Agency opening,” said Lachlan Shire WPRD representative and  Mayor Councillor Des Manwaring.

An presentation for the public will be held on the 12th of August.

Westpac-ing up

Condobolin's Westpac in-store branch will close its doors for the final time today (Wednesday, 8 July).

• Westpac staff Sharon Phillips and Tracy Wood together with long time Westpac customer Henry (Harry) Martin inside the bank’s local in-store branch that will close its doors for the final time on Wednesday, 8 July. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Condobolin’s Westpac in-store branch will close its doors for the final time today (Wednesday, 8 July).

The decision, which was made by Westpac in late April, will see a transfer of its services to Australia Post.

The bank recorded a $7.568 billion profit in the 12 months to 30 September 2014, but it was still unable to make 147 in-store branches viable.

Many local, loyal and long-time customers have been left fuming by the decision.

“I have been a customer for 30 years, and now I will have to travel to Forbes to have any face-to-face contact with the [Westpac] bank – it’s ridiculous,” Narelle Townsend said.

Henry (Harry) Martin also is upset by the closure.

“I need a gofer to get around, and accessing the Post Office will be difficult for me,” he said.

‘There has been no consideration of older customers and how they will be able to access bank services.”

Business owner Peter Kuhn of Condobolin Swiss Watch Centre is so outraged with the decision, he is changing banks.

“We are moving [to another bank],” he said.

“I am not impressed with how Westpac handled this situation at all.

“I got a generic email informing me of the decision and have had no further contact.

“We will no longer be banking at Westpac.”

David Cooney, who owns the store from which the in-store branch operates from said the decision was “city-centric.”

“No-one this side of the Blue Mountains made a decision like that – it is very disappointing that customers lose out yet again.”

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