Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Dale Webster, The Regional


Third of NAB’s regional banks wiped in CEO’s reign of terror

After slashing NAB's regional branches by a third Ross McEwan is bailing before a senate inquiry into the closures reports. Miniscule savings at the cost of trashing the bank's reputation in a critical lending base. What will his legacy be?

APRA bogged in a data mess of its own making

Headlines around Australia last week screamed out about bank closures. They were triggered by the release of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s annual points of presence data that showed an 11 per cent fall in bank branches nationally in 12 months ... The media coverage of the data release last week only adds to the confusion.

Banks’ disconnect from regional Australia never more obvious

The chief executive of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh did not read a single submission to the 2021-2022 Regional Banking Taskforce she was a member of. This astonishing disclosure came out under questioning during a hearing of the Senate inquiry into regional bank closures ... CBA's Matt Comyn was the first to come before the senators and except for dropping the information that CBA will be making its Bankwest brand an entirely digital service he might have snuck through without a mention here.

The dirty business of bank closures laid bare in WA

People are not taking time off work every Friday during footy season to drive hundreds of kilometres to the next closest bank to get money to pay the players and run the bar for the fun of it. Or drawing on their annual leave to get the cash float for the local show. You don’t clock up more than 500km in two days trying to find a bank that is open to make a security deposit to see the country and you don’t place advertisements in the local paper for coin to provide change at the post office to make new friends.

Make up your mind CBA, you can’t have it both ways

The Commonwealth Bank is at it again. While to be congratulated on its decision to put a three-year moratorium on regional branch closures in place, it has dragged its co-publisher of the quarterly Regional Movers Index report into an embarrassing situation again by refusing to count their top destinations for regional migration as … regional.

NAB caught out in data lie over branch closures

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has been pulling a swifty on customers that have lost branches since September last year, using incomplete visitation data to justify the decisions ... The deception was revealed when the use of the phrase “over the counter interactions” on NAB’s West Lakes “branch closure fact sheet” was questioned, with information sought on what activities were being counted as foot traffic.

Westpac a no-show after public humiliation at first senate hearing into bank closures

Westpac should have been fronting up at the second hearing of the Senate inquiry into regional bank closures in Cloncurry this morning but after the beating it took during the first hearing at Sale in March, it appears it was not prepared to face an angry mob in a town where it was planning to close its local branch ... It has presented an ideal opportunity to have a close look at the grilling its executives received at Sale and remind readers that this is the bank with the worst track record leaving communities without banking services.

Commonwealth Bank breaks pledge to pause regional bank closures

The Commonwealth Bank is closing a branch in an area it has itself labelled one of Australia’s most popular destinations for regional migration, breaking its pledge not to shut any regional branches while a senate inquiry into the impact of bank closures is in progress ... The Commonwealth Bank’s interpretation leaves Australia’s three biggest regional cities – Geelong, Wollongong and Newcastle – as well as the more densely populated regions along the east coast and places such as Bateau Bay, Gosford, Maitland, Murwillumbah, Raymond Terrace, Katoomba, Bacchus Marsh and Mandurah still vulnerable to the loss of their Commonwealth banks this year as they fall in the same category.

Senate inquiries are serious business and no place for spin

Contempt of the Senate is a pretty easy thing to get your head around. Witnesses at hearings who give false or misleading evidence run the risk of being hauled in front of the privileges committee for a “please explain” ... There’s a lot that could be considered as misleading in NAB’s testimony at Sale but saying they are “committed to being where its customers are” is the first outright fib given in evidence to this parliamentary inquiry.

Farewell Mickey, 48 years (and possibly more) is a great effort

There is a Shetland-sized hole in the hearts of the Scott family of Emu Creek this week after they said goodbye to Mickey, just shy of his 50th birthday ... It is believed Mickey was used for pony rides at the Melbourne Zoo and at metropolitan race meetings in his younger days but ended up in Bendigo at age 36 when his owners moved into aged care.