Another bank in Gloucester is set to alter its business hours with the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) making a national-wide change to its regional retail businesses.
Gloucester branch is on the list of 90 regional locations to change opening hours in the coming months.
According to a spokesperson for CBA, the changes are all about adapting to meet customers needs.
"Following close consultation with our people, these regional branches will continue serving local customers in branch from 9.30am to 1pm and then close to assist CBA's Australian-based contact centres, which are receiving more than a million increasingly complex customer enquiries every month," the spokesperson said.
The announcement comes just seven weeks after the Dungog branch permanently shut its doors on June 4. The bank cited a drop in transactions and the increase of customers choosing to use online channels for their banking as the cause for the decision.
It was a similar reasoning behind the closure of the Wingham branch in October 2020 and the Macksville branch in November 2016.
This isn't the first alteration to banking in Gloucester with the loss of the Westpac branch over six years ago and both the National Bank and Regional Bank shortening opening hours. In late 2020, the National Bank made a similar move to what the CBA has announced, by further altering some of its regional branch opening hours but having the staff work on digital or phone banking support.
CBA has stated that COVID is not the reason for the change but instead has accelerated the company's planned shift, reverting to its reasoning for past branch closures being a customer-driven preference toward digital and contact centre services.
For these big businesses with a large regional presence, the goal has been to keep employment in the regional communities.
CBA Executive General Manager Customer Service Network Mark Jones said it's understood that this will be an adjustment for customers.
"Our branches in regional Australia will continue to play an important role in delivering great service to our customers now and into the future, and this is an example of how we are adapting to meet changing customers' evolving needs while ensuring jobs stay in regional communities," Mr Jones said.
"We're expanding our Australian-based contact centre network from five dedicated locations to over 90 communities across the country, while keeping a physical banking presence in regional communities."
The change to Gloucester's branch hours are expected to take effect on September 13.
Outside of these new trading hours, Australia Post outlets will continue to provide face-to-face service for customers. CBA recently renewed its 110-year partnership with Australia Post until 2032, so both personal and business customers can make withdrawals, deposits and bill payments, including passbooks, during normal business hours.
For a full list of branches due to alter opening hours, visit https://www.commbank.com.au/articles/newsroom/2021/07/CBA-branch-changes.html