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Disappointment as Westpac closes Ruatorea branch

Date of Release: 
Monday, July 13, 2015

After a spirited campaign to save Westpac Ruatorea, bank bosses have ignored the community and confirmed that the Ruatorea branch will close says FIRST Union national organiser Tali Williams.

“Westpac ignored the community. Over 3000 people signed the petition to save Westpac Ruatorea, over 100 locals turned out to discuss the proposal at a town hall meeting and many more have made their views heard through social media.”

“Bank bosses claim the decision was made off the back of declining transactions, but when we asked how many transactions would be needed to keep the branch open they didn’t know. The local community was never given the information it needed to help save its last bank,” says Williams.

“Westpac could have taken a pro-active approach to the Ruatorea branch, looking to grow business rather than quietly withdrawing from the region. We suggested this as an alternative strategy, the community even offered a co-location proposal with a local business, but Westpac wasn’t interested.”

“The branch workers themselves are gutted. This wasn’t just a job for them, it was a community service,” says Williams.

FIRST Union strongly opposed the closure in its submission.

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