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Bank abandoning community

Commonwealth Bank Condel Park Closure

RESIDENTS and businesses in Condell Park have slammed plans by the Commonwealth Bank to close its doors.

Mayor of Canterbury-Bankstown has called on the major banks to put people ahead of profits, after the Commonwealth Bank announced its plan to pull out of the area this month – the third branch to shut its doors in the city in just 12 months and less than a year after it did the same at Belmore.

“I can’t believe it, CBA is looking to abandon yet another of our local communities,” Mayor Khal Asfour said.

According to the latest Census, almost 10 per cent of Condell Park’s population consists of residents aged 70 or older.

“From speaking with residents, I know many of our seniors and people with disability don’t use internet banking,” Mayor Asfour said.

He said the CBA needed to repay the loyalty of its customers and workers, by genuinely listening to them, rather than act in ways which indicate it cares more about profits than people.

He encouraged concerned residents to also make their voices heard, by calling Commonwealth Bank on 13 22 21.

Cr Rachelle Harika says business owners, tradies and residents are up in arms because it is a much relied upon service for the community, particularly for older residents who prefer to shop local.

“My message to the Commonweath Bank is very simple: stop taking the business of our community for granted. If you don’t value our 12,000 residents and hundreds of businesses based in Condell Park, then don’t be surprised when they switch banks and go elsewhere,” Cr Harika said.

Irene Rowlands from the Commonwealth Bank said the Condell Park branch has had a steady 34 per cent decline in transactions over the past five years, with customers increasingly choosing other banking channels such as mobile, online and phone banking services.

“Closing a branch is never an easy decision,” she said.

Branch to shut shop

SHOPKEEPERS are angry with the upcoming closure of the Commonwealth Bank Condell Park branch and say it will hurt their businesses as well as their customers.

A Commonwealth customer himself, owner of the Condell Park Newsagency, Mostaq Meraz says he will have to travel into Bankstown daily to do his banking.

He hopes the Commonwealth will reverse the decision.

“If they don’t, we hope another bank will take their place,” he said.

“If the bank goes we will lose a lot of customers, and it’s not just us, it’s a lot of other businesses.”

Also banking with the Commonwealth, owner of Condell Park Freshland, Yen Vu says many of her customers, particularly the elderly, will be inconvenienced.

She says if the branch closes, people will go where they can do both their banking and shopping at the same time.

“It’s terrible,” Ms Vu said.

Longtime Condell Park resident Jeannie said she was shocked.

“I have lived here since 1969 and have been going to that bank for over 40 years; it is very convenient,” she said.

“So many of us will badly miss that branch and no one feels like travelling to Revesby or Bankstown.”