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More banks tipped to close

MORE bank branches are due to close around the Perth metropolitan area in the coming six weeks.

Financial Services Union assistant secretary Paul Schroder said he was aware of at least six retail branches that would close in the next six weeks.

He said the closures would be mixed between the ANZ, Westpac and the National Bank.

A National Bank spokeswoman said it had announced a number of closures for Perth.

The branches to go include Kelmscott on July 29, a Fremantle branch on August 19, Malaga on August 31, Kewdale on August 24 and Noranda on September 21.

“These are branches where the transaction numbers were declining,” the spokeswoman said.

The Challenge Bank – Westpac’s face in WA – is understood to have been studying the feasibility of its branches for some time. However, a Westpac spokeswoman denied there were any branch closures on the cards for Perth.

There was speculation Challenge would be closing its Donnybrook branch, leaving the town without a bank, but the Westpac spokeswoman said this was not true.

She said the Donnybrook branch was being converted to an “in-store” operation, where the space was shared with another business.

“Customers will still have access to the same services they would receive in a branch,” the spokeswoman said.

The ANZ was unable to confirm or deny whether it planned to close any branches in Perth in the near future.

p See Small Business page 13

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