The number of banks closed in regional Australia in the six weeks since the Albanese Government quietly released the Coalition’s Regional Banking Taskforce final report is comparable to a dam opening its spillways. The blame for the acceleration – at least 71 branches across all states and territories – can be laid squarely at the feet of the two opposition MPs who led the inquiry, Michael Sukker and Perin Davey, and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones, who released the report.
Patricia Gill. Denmark's NAB branch will close February 9. Denmark Chamber of Commerce president Chris Langslow called the closure disappointing, particularly for small businesses and retailers/hospitality businesses which required cash and cheques.
Australia's banking regulator has been significantly over-stating regional branch numbers for decades due to false reporting by banking institutions. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) became aware of the errors in May 2021 and has been quietly correcting the hundreds of instances where banks have claimed they are providing full branch services – including the face-to-face provision of cash – but have not been.
Australia's banking regulator is picking and choosing which banks it is allowing to get away with breaking the law by misreporting whether their sites offer cash service provided by a teller. Errors in hundreds of minor and foreign bank sites included in the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s points of presence data for years, even decades, have been corrected over the past 17 months after being exposed by The Regional in May 2021.
Rabobank's Marcel van Doremaele said while assessment of damage was still in a very early phase, farmers would be dealing with a range of issues including damage to grain and horticulture crops, as well as pasture and feed. In addition, he said, there would be impacts on summer crop planting programs, disruptions to milking, as well as flooded sheds and damage to other farm infrastructure, machinery and access roads. "Added to this, there will be logistical concerns in relation to harvest and getting livestock to market,” he said.
The release of the Australian banking regulator’s annual points of presence data this week will be an integrity test for both its chairman Wayne Byres and Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and Treasury are both in possession of a list of 149 bank sites that do not meet the legal definition of a branch under federal legislation. Most of them have been falsely listed in government data by their Australian and foreign owners for years.
Finance Sector Union national secretary Julia Angrisano said the union is calling on the Federal Government to inquire into the provision of local banking services, particularly in regional areas and supported calls for a moratorium on regional bank closures.
Regional Australians found themselves as the butt of a nasty joke at weekend, with both the new Federal Government and the Opposition treating them like idiots over the critical issue of bank closures. In the ultimate dodgy trick, the final report in to the Taskforce into Regional Banking was snuck out at 4.52pm on Friday evening before a long weekend by the Albanese Government despite the report being a Coalition document overseen by two shadow ministers (Michael Sukkar and Perin Davey) whose current portfolios have nothing to do with treasury, finance, business or regional Australia.
The Regional Banking Taskforce came together for meetings in Sydney, Orange, Mildura and Canberra to hear and discuss how bank branch closures have impacted individuals and regional communities, and to work collaboratively to identify possible solutions ... The Taskforce’s final report made 7 recommendations ...
The Albanese Government welcomes the Council of Financial Regulators’ paper on potential policy responses to address the problem of de-banking in Australia. De-banking, where a bank declines to offer or withdraws banking services to a customer, can have a devastating impact on businesses and individuals. It can also put a handbrake on competition and innovation in emerging sectors of the economy.
The Chief Executive Officer of an Aboriginal corporation in Tennant Creek has labelled Westpac’s sudden closure of its branch as an abandonment of the Barkly’s Indigenous community. Papulu Apparr-Kari Aboriginal Corporation (PAK) has been a long-time customer of Westpac, also helping out its Indigenous customers without identification to use its bank services.
Regional Australians angry over continued bank closures have a chance to have their voice heard in federal parliament. The Regional’s Australian parliamentary petition calling for an immediate moratorium on closures and a new banking inquiry has been approved and can be signed online until 12.29am on October 6. It comes as the number of regional ‘big four’ banks looks set to slip below 1000 by the end of the year, a reduction of nearly two thirds of their network since 1975.
Heritage Bank has announced the talented photographers who will share in a massive $50,000 prize pool as part of its 2022 Photographic Awards. The annual Heritage Bank Photographic Awards are now in their 34th year and are one of the most lucrative, and longest running, in the country.
I have spent more than a year counting banks. It’s not an introduction to a story I could have foreseen myself writing 12 months earlier but when News Corp started cutting jobs in the rural mastheads, I found myself with time on my hands and a lot of unfinished business ... The “big four” (ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac) started pulling out of regional Australia more than 30 years ago and one of the obstacles to reporting on this has been that there still isn’t a clear picture of the scale of closures.
Casterton, Grenfell, Home Hill, Nathalia and Toukley. Five Australian towns that were until recently set apart by one dubious achievement shared by no others: they had all lost a full hand of the “big four” banks – ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac – since the 1970s. The days when all four branches were still open in these places was a time when banks were major employers in a town and the managers treated like kings because of the power they then had to make decisions locally that could make or break a business.
Rural debt has increased by $3.34 billion, or 13.89 per cent, on the Eastern Darling Downs regions according to the 2021 Queensland Rural Debt Survey. Over the same period, total rural debt in Queensland has risen to $24.06 billion, an increase of 25.97 per cent ... Since the survey was conducted in December 2021, much of the State has experienced an extended La Niña season with several major flooding events, particularly in South East Queensland.
The Narrandera Shire Council will formally object to the closure of the National Bank branch at Narrandera and will review its banking arrangements following the procurement of a new enterprise management system later this financial year. The bank advised that the decision to close in October was predicated on a decline in physical transactions conducted in the branch...
Australia's largest irrigated cotton property, Cubbie Station, is back in local hands after Chinese textile giant Shandong Ruyi sold its remaining stake to co-owner Macquarie Asset Management. Cubbie Station is responsible for around 10% of the country’s cotton output and is now entirely held by the Sydney-based company.
Sean Cunningham. Barellan Post Office, which is also the town’s financial centre, is under new ownership. The new owners Fiona Kibble and Cameron Rouse believe that investing in the post office has been the "best decision" they've made in a long time.
Sheryl Lowe. Banking is challenging in Millicent and Districts for some members of the community since the ANZ Bank reduced their business hours last year. With this week’s announcement the Naracoorte ANZ will close in November, the future of the ‘big banks’ is being questioned by customers. The Millicent ANZ Bank now only opens on weekdays from 9.30 am to 12.30pm which leaves little opportunity for businesses to bank the days takings ... When Banks announce they are reducing their trading hours or closure they often encourage clients to use the local Post Office for their banking needs, but this can be problematic too.
Coraki Post Office owner Steve Taylor knows how difficult banking can be for residents when they are unable to travel to their closest bank in Lismore or Casino. “One lady in her 80s who is born and bred in Coraki got caught out with no cash,” Mr Taylor said. She banked with ANZ and with the bank’s branches closed in Coraki and Casino, she wanted to get money from the post office. She couldn’t because ANZ don’t have a banking agreement with Australia Post.
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