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31 May, 2021

Another bank branch to close

Following in the footsteps of the ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank, the National Australia Bank (NAB) has confirmed that the Oakey branch will be closing on August 6 leaving its local customers to find another way to do their banking.

Oakey residents will have just over two months to organise another method to do their banking with the NAB branch set to close in August.

NAB Retail Customer Executive, Nathan Hooper, said the decision was made due to the reduced face-to- face customer interactions with the branch.

“Australians are increasingly choosing to do their banking digitally, with 93 per cent of our customer interactions now taking place over the phone, by video or online,” he said.

“Over the past few years, fewer customers are coming into branches and foot traffic has lessened dramatically.

“When customers do visit us in a branch, it’s to have an in-depth conversation rather than withdrawing money.

“More than 60 per cent of our customers in Oakey have only visited the branch once in the last year and 80 per cent of customers are also using other branches in the area such as Clifford Gardens and Toowoomba City.”

Mr Hooper said bank customers are encouraged to use the services at the local Australia Post outlet.

“Our team will be speaking with customers in Oakey over the coming weeks about the ways they will be able to continue their banking locally,” he said.

“This includes depositing and withdrawing cash at the Australia Post outlet in Oakey as well as a face to face, phone or video appointments with one of our mobile bankers, home lending specialists or business bankers.

“Our Agri and regional customers will continue to be supported by our specialist bankers, who visit customers on their farms and at businesses to support with their banking needs.”

Mr Hooper said the closure will not affect the employment of the current NAB employees. 

“Importantly, there will be no job losses,” he said.

In addition to using the Australia Post banking services, Mr Hooper encouraged Oakey residents to use the Clifford Gardens branch which is currently being renovated to have a new open plan layout and new banking services.

“We’re investing more than $1 million to renovate the NAB branch at Clifford Gardens.

“Opening in mid-June, the branch has been designed specifically to meet changing customer behaviour so we can continue to help our customers across the Toowoomba region when they choose to visit us in person.”

Oakey resident and The Oakey Pharmacy co- owner Nathan Jervis said the branch closure will be a major inconvenience for his business.

He said his staff currently banks daily using the NAB branch.

“Rather than walking across the road, it will take longer to do our banking whether it be to Australia Post or in Toowoomba,” Mr Jervis said.

“It really shows the lack of care these big banks have for rural towns.”

Mr Jervis said a lot of his older customers only use cash and are reliant on the bank tellers to access their funds.

Another angry Oakey resident, Denis Bennett said he joined the NAB when moving to the town about five years ago in order to have access to a physical branch.

Mr Bennett said he and his wife don’t use online banking and have no interest in using the service.

“It’s disgusting that they are shutting. Really terrible,” he said.

“I use the branch all the time.

“I don’t know what we will do when it closes.

“When you see big businesses like that closing down, it is a really bad look for the town.

“It shows that they don’t take an interest in the town and it’s not right.

“My worry is that once one shuts, something else might shut too.”

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