Tuesday, 20 July 2021
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today urged National Australia Bank (NAB) customers in Guyra and Uralla to consider immediately changing who they bank with, as he condemned the financial institution’s decision to close branches in both towns.
A disgusted Mr Marshall said just as agriculture, retail and hospitality businesses were finally starting to recover from the drought and bushfires, NAB had decided to turn its back on some of its most loyal customers.
“It’s been exactly 12 months since NAB attempted to close its Uralla branch, using COVID-19 restrictions and a decline in over-the-counter-transactions as an excuse,” Mr Marshall said.
“In that instance people power saw the decision overturned, however, not happy with that, NAB is now kicking our hard-working small businesses and families in the guts again, with the complete loss of face-to-face services.
“This is a bastard act from a company that no longer deserves country people’s support.
“They’re walking away from us and I’d urge those who can to walk away from them.”
Mr Marshall said NAB was preying on the loyalty of country people, no doubt hoping its customers remain, despite this latest slap in the face.
“Country people traditionally have been loyal in how they shop, bank and insure but loyalty is a two-way street and these NAB shysters haven’t shown much loyalty to its customers in the bush and I believe we no longer owe any to them,” he said.
“As one of the largest banks in Australia, NAB has a responsibility to ensure equitable access to face-to-face banking services for everyone regardless of changes in banking behaviour.
“Rural and regional NSW is falling victim to the prioritisation of profits, while metropolitan Sydney still has access to over 70 NAB branches.
“When NAB posts a 2021 Half Yearly Result of $3.34 billion in cash earnings, 94.8 per cent higher than its Half Year Results last year, you really have to question the rationale behind closing services when things are apparently so good.
“I mean, how much money do they really need to make off the backs of country people?
“Instead of paying the wages of local tellers the bank is going to invest millions of dollars to redevelop its Armidale premises and install self-service digital bars and business change and deposit schemes.
“I’m sure customers in Guyra and Uralla, which are two very independent communities, won’t appreciate being told they have to find time to travel to Armidale to deposit takings or make withdrawals, when they have a functional branch on their main street.
“Of course we know a lot of people do online banking, but Guyra and Uralla both have a large population of older people and farmers, who still bank the traditional way, going in face-to-face, making a deposit or a withdrawal.
“I have joined Uralla Shire Council in writing to NAB management, calling for the branch to remain open.
“My position has always been clear when it comes to the big four banks maintaining a presence in regional communities; if you have paying local customers, you should offer local services.
“Along with deserting Uralla and Guyra, NAB has also turned its back on its motto ‘More than Money’. I encourage NAB to reconsider this decision, do the right thing and choose people over profits.”