CLOSED: Boyne Is residents 'outraged' as last bank closes
BOYNE Island resident Andre Taute is scratching his head after the last bank at Boyne Island announced it was closing.
The National Bank of Australia confirmed in a statement to The Observer yesterday that the Boyne Island branch would close on September 13.
NAB regional customer executive Lara Faithfull said the decision was made with careful consideration.
"While our branches continue to be an important part of what we do at NAB, the way our customers are banking has changed dramatically in recent years," she said.
"Increasingly we find that our customers prefer to do their banking online, on the phone or through our mobile app.
"In Boyne Island 72 per cent of our customers are also using other branches like Gladstone and Rockhampton North."
For Mr Taute, who has called Boyne Island home for the past three decades, the closure spells outrage.
"Nobody is going to drive to Gladstone, let alone Rockhampton, to do their banking unless they work there. Even then it is very inconvenient," the property developer said.
"It's a sad day for small business like the butchers and the newsagents who rely on cash over the counter to trade on a daily basis."
Mr Taute said the closure was not taken well by residents, especially given the ANZ and Commonwealth Bank recently stopped operating in the town.
"We as a community would urge these big banks to stay part of the local tapestry," he said.
"I don't know what they are going to do with the NAB ATM. They aren't saying much. At the same time, those machines will have to be serviced."
With a population between 12,000-15,000, Mr Taute said the closure was a "massive blow to the community".
"ANZ just deserted the community," he said.
"There is a clear link to smaller communities needing banks."
Mr Taute said he feared Boyne Island would adapt an unhealthy fly-in-fly-out culture.
"People work in other towns, families breakdown and the fabric of a community drastically changes," he said.
"You start losing schools and vital health services."
Mr Taute said the bank closure posed a major issue for seniors who didn't rely on technology on a daily basis.
"Banks are backbones to communities," he said.
"Those seniors will be seriously affected because they won't receive their valuable one-on-one service."
Ms Faithfull said NAB wanted to continue to help its customers with their banking.
"Customers will receive letters to let them know of the changes, as well as providing information on how they can continue banking, whether that is at a nearby branch, online, over the phone or at Australia Post," she said.