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29 November, 2021

Pittsworth’s CBA branch now permanently closed

Friday November 19 was a sad day for the Pittsworth community as the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) branch closed its doors forever.

Longstanding CBA employees Bill Hooper and Debra Evans say goodbye to the Pittsworth community for the final time.

Saying goodbye for the last time was particularly bittersweet for long-standing CBA employees Debra Evans and Bill Hooper who have both worked for the bank for decades.

Ms Evans worked at the Pittsworth branch for 35 years and was a very familiar and friendly face to all locals who banked there.

Mr Hooper was based at the Pittsworth branch for seven years, but spent a total of 40 years working for CBA. 

Both Ms Evans and Mr Hooper said they have fond memories of working in Pittsworth.

They said it is a great town with lovely people, and it has been a pleasure to work here for all those years.

As for the next chapter, Mr Hooper said he will now work with his wife in their store located in Grantham, while Ms Evans said she is looking forward to taking a break from work for a while. 

Sentiment among the Pittsworth community following the closure appears to be mixed, with some residents saying they are sad to see both the bank and its fantastic employees go, while others are simply unimpressed. 

Commonwealth  Bank’s Regional General Manager Kylie Hall said although they were sad to close the Pittsworth branch, the recent drop in transactions meant they had no option and they felt confident with the other banking option available to their customers.  

“We regularly review our branch locations across Australia to help us make informed decisions on where to open new branches, where to renovate or upgrade existing branches, and in some instances where to close branches,” Ms Hall said.

“Following a recent review, we made the difficult decision to permanently close our Pittsworth branch. 

“This branch saw a 46 per cent drop in transactions over the five years before the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our people from Pittsworth branch were all offered redeployment opportunities, including roles supporting customers over the phone and online, or roles in surrounding branches.

“Some have chosen to take on these redeployment opportunities, and others have decided to take on external options, including exploring opportunities outside the Bank and retirement. 

“While the team is sad to say goodbye to the Pittsworth community, they all feel very supported with the options we have provided to them.

“We recognise some senior customers prefer to do their banking face-to-face and this is one of the reasons why CBA is proud to maintain the largest branch network in the country. 

“Each year, we invest around $50 million in our branch network, to upgrade and refurbish existing branches and open new branches where we see customer demand.

“We’ve ensured customers who prefer over-the-counter service still have access to this option. 

“For Pittsworth customers, we have other branches in the region at Toowoomba, Clifford Gardens and Toowoomba Plaza. 

“We’ve found that 28 per cent of customers from Pittsworth are already visiting these branches.

“Over the past three months, the team at Pittsworth branch have been working with local customers to help them find the banking solutions that best suit their needs.

“For customers who prefer face-to-face options, Bank@Post is available up the road at the Pittsworth LPO Australia Post office for personal and business banking transactions. 

“We’ve recently renewed this service until 2032, so customers can continue to make withdrawals, deposits and bill payments including passbooks during normal business hours.

“The Brookstead LPO in the wider region also offers Bank@Post services.

“Customers can also access their accounts 24 hours a day through NetBank or the CommBank App. 

“We are also available for general banking enquiries, through our locally-based contact centres on 13 22 21, every day between 6am and 10pm.”

Commonwealth Bank’s ATM has also been removed.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) and Heritage Bank are now the only remaining branches in Pittsworth.

What will happen to the now vacant building in which CBA resided is still unknown. 

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