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Regional Bank Branch Closures Laid Bare As Senate Banking Inquiry Visits Kingston SE

February 22, 2024 4:47 pm in by
©AAP 2023

Recent bank branch closures in Mannum and Tailem Bend have been highlighted to a senate inquiry in Kingston SE yesterday.

Two local councils, as well as a collective named Bank4Mannum, gave evidence to Senators of the profound impact that the bank closures have had on the community.

Westpac’s decisions to leave Mannum as floodwaters took hold, and Tailem Bend a week after they wrote that they wouldn’t close the local branch down, were brought to the inquiry along with similar stories across the state. 

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The number of banks in regional South Australia has fallen from 228 in 1975, to just 63 in September 2023.

Across the same time frame, 121 towns across regional SA lost their physical branches.

Robbie Barwick from the Citizens’ Party has been following the inquiry around the country, and says these hearings are vitally important.

“What’s important about these hearings is that the Senators get to hear it, and they get to realise that ‘we’re the elected people, it’s time we took responsibility for this and for us to make the system better'”, Barwick said.

“The strong impression I get is that they know something has to come out of this.”

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Listen to the full interview with ARN‘s Chris Guscott on Around SA below:

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