The Nationals Member for Shepparton District, Kim O’Keeffe, has criticised the decision to close Tatura’s only bank, saying it will have a huge impact on the town that is already struggling to be provided with adequate banking services.
The Commonwealth Bank closed in Tatura only 12 months ago, and the NAB is only open three hours a day.
“Many businesses have told me that those limited hours do not work for everyone. Waiting times have been increased, which takes people out of their businesses longer than they should,” said Ms O’Keeffe, who visited Tatura to consult with locals about the closure.
“The ATM frequently runs out of cash, and the blatant disregard for the town’s banking needs, coupled with the lack of support and understanding, is truly appalling.
“These large corporations do not understand the needs of smaller regional communities. The locals are often minutes from their bank, not like in the big cities,” she said.
In speaking to a representative, Ms O’Keeffe said that NAB informed her that the details were still being finalised, however, it has been announced that the bank located at 143 Hogan Street, Tatura, will close on September 28, 2023.
The bank is likely to offer banking services through the local Tatura Post Office, however, the details around that arrangement are yet to be determined.
Ms O’Keeffe said she had been told that NAB will keep its ATM operating, however, the location may change due to leasing arrangements at the current site.
She emphasised that, “The community must have a reliable ATM and no delays of operation during this transition phase.”
Hearing from local businesses, Ms O’Keeffe said they also depend greatly on visitors accessing the bank or ATM.
“Tatura has many large successful events that businesses rely on, and having reliable access to money is critical to the success of many of those events and to ensure that money is spent locally.
“This closure has left the town wondering what their options will be, with many left feeling disillusioned hearing about the large profits that banks are making,
“We are seeing banks becoming more disconnected to their customers and this has to be a step in the wrong direction,” said Ms O’Keeffe.
“Tatura is a progressive community with vibrant local businesses and large industries, along with a growing local population who deserve a local bank.”