CHOICE calls for the disappearance of banking stories in rural areas – News Of The Area

Patrick Veyret, CHOICE Banking Campaigner encourages people in the region to share their banking stories

IS your local ATM or bank gone, closed, or just left town without saying goodbye?

On the Coffs Coast, with our rural reach, many of us rely on our local hole-in-the-wall to conveniently withdraw our money.

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In rural areas, the closure of the local bank often means a trip into the city for our more detailed banking business.

CHOICE, the consumer group, urges Australians to share their stories about their regional banking experiences.

Patrick Veyret, CHOICE Banking Campaigner, told News Of The Area, “Many of us rely on bank branches and ATMs for access to essential banking services.

“As the shift to online banking accelerates, we need to make sure no one is left behind.

“The government wants to hear from communities affected by bank decisions to close branches and remove ATMs.

“We urge Australians to share your thoughts with CHOICE so that your voice will be heard.

“Many Australians live in a regional area and it is important that people in the bush have access to banking services,” said Patrick.

The government has set up a task force to assess the impact of bank branch closures on regional communities.

CHOICE writes a submission calling for fair access to banking services for all.

“We want to include real stories from people who are affected or concerned about access to banking services.

“Since June 2017 there have been over 500 bank branch closings in the Australia region.

“It could mean driving for hours to get to a bank branch, or the only ATM in town is a private one that has a cash withdrawal fee.

“We want to show the federal government why municipalities in the regions care about fair access to banks and ATMs.

“As the shift to online banking accelerates, we need to make sure no one is left behind.

“The government will hear from the big four banks, so we need to make sure they hear from communities and consumers who are affected by their decisions to close branches and remove ATMs,” said Patrick.

CHOICE is asking people to share their story about regional banking at www.choice.com.au/regionalbanking.

By Andrea FERRARI

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