The Koroit community has faced-off with ANZ bank representatives for the first time since being told the branch’s doors were closing.
In an open meeting held in the Koroit Theatre on Tuesday night, residents voiced their concerns and frustrations at losing the town’s only bank.
Chaired by Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas, the meeting attracted more than 100 people.
Visiting ANZ Regional Manager Mark Genoa told the crowd his bank “always tries to optimise branch models”.
“We try to accommodate our customers through multiple banking channels,” he said. “But foot traffic in Koroit is currently low.
“Koroit currently has 229 customers and only 51 access the branch.
“At the moment over-the-counter transactions make up 19 per cent of Koroit’s banking transactions and 33 per cent using the Koroit ATM.
“These are our major reasons and justifications.”
Western Victoria MP James Purcell then took to the stage and said the bank’s closure was a “muddied issue”.
“Unfortunately these things happen,” he said. “I don’t believe the decision will be reversed. The numbers just don’t stack up.”
Mr Purcell encouraged residents to consider alternative arrangements.
“We need to move on and look at another branch of bank in Koroit,” he said. “The big four won’t suit us. It’s time to thank them for the journey and go on another bus.”
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell said Koroit was “a sustainable part of the world” and questioned why town development did not warrant the existence of a bank.
A representative from the Bendigo Bank in Geelong continued by discussing options for a community bank.
Community concerns voiced included elderly and online banking access, insufficient community consultation and the future of an ATM within the township.
ANZ’s Mr Genoa said for the moment the ATM would stay but its business model was yet to be decided.
This meeting follows the ANZ’s announcement to close its Koroit branch on July 12 after existing as the town’s only bank since 2002.