Bankwest has announced it is closing its 14 east coast branches after a massive drop in usage and will also slash opening hours at 29 regional branches in Western Australia.
East coast branches have seen a 64 per cent fall in usage, with the bank saying it will instead focus investment in its digital and broker services to meet changing customer needs.
Bankwest will also adjust its opening hours at 29 regional branches in WA, which will move to two and four days per week.
Again, the bank has cited a shift in customer preferences toward digital banking options.
Bankwest country hub branches in Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Albany and Bunbury will remain open five days per week.
WA regional branch transactions had dropped 33 per cent on average over the past five years, but app usage had gone up 31 per cent in the past two years, the bank said.
“Customers increasingly expect us to be simpler and easier to bank with via their brokers and our digital and contact centre channels, so it’s critical we meet these expectations,” Bankwest executive general manager Jason Chan said.
“We’re exploring how we continue to get the balance right between supporting those customers who want to use branches while delivering the digital services customers expect of us.
“We’ll continue to be a leading retail bank in our home state … On the east coast, Bankwest is in a strong position to grow as a homeowner-focused digital bank.”
Bankwest general manager of personal banking Scott Spittles said customers were being contacted about the changes and the upskilling of WA branch workers.