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Westpac maintains branches in regional Australia

1 May 2024

Westpac is extending its moratorium on regional branch closures until at least 2027 while it strengthens regional banking services.

“Westpac has been in Australia for over 207 years. We know regional communities play a critical role in Australia’s economy, and we want to make sure we are there to support them,” said Jason Yetton, Westpac Chief Executive, Consumer.

“We’ve heard the feedback from customers about the impact of branch closures in the bush and understand they face many challenges such as limited internet connectivity and increased travel times to their nearest branch.

“Thats why we’ll be investing more than $150 million in our branch network over the next two years. This commitment will support more than 2.2 million customers and 1,000 employees who live and work in 182 regional areas and means we continue to give customers who prefer to do their banking in branch access to face to face service for their banking needs and cash transactions. 

“With many regional areas being thriving business and job hubs, this also benefits our small and agri business customers who have built strong relationships with our bankers who live and work in the area, and understand the local business landscape.

“At the same time, we’ll work with our partners and local governments to improve regional services and the connection between our branches and local communities. We’ll also look to invest in services where there is a growing customer need, including increasing business bankers,” said Mr Yetton.

Westpac’s partnership with Australia Post is critical to regional Australia and its service network. With 96 per cent of Westpac customers living within 20kms of a Bank@Post, this partnership provides cash services to 1,800 communities in rural and regional areas.

“We’re investing more than $200 million over 10 years in our partnership with Australia Post. This allows customers to perform the majority of cash and cheque transactions at a Bank@Post,” said Mr Yetton.

“Bank@Post remains an important part of how we deliver banking services to regional areas, so we’re continuing to work with Australia Post to bolster these services for customers and small businesses.”

Westpac will continue its co-location program, which brings two brands and customer service teams together under one roof. These co-located branches allow Westpac to invest and stay in communities.

“Our co-locations have been well received by customers in 100 locations nationally, including 39 in regional areas such as Dubbo, Toowoomba and Port Augusta. We are continuing to look for opportunities to deliver an additional 40 co-locations across Australia, bringing the total number of co-located branches to 140 by 2027,” said Mr Yetton.

“Our customers also have the choice and convenience of visiting any of our branches to make cash transactions, regardless of whether they bank with Westpac, St.George, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne. This means customers can visit the closest branch to where they live or work. Over 115,000 customers have benefited from this technology since it was rolled out in September 2023.”

Expanding access to digital

Westpac customers are increasingly turning to digital channels to do their banking. Westpac data shows an 11 per cent increase in virtual banking, with 5.92 million customers using Westpac’s banking apps and online platforms.

As part of this pause, Westpac will continue to educate customers on the benefits of its 24x7 digital banking solutions to help address the barriers to digital inclusion in regional Australia, while also expanding its virtual service offering. From the comfort of their home or office, customers can use this service to connect with banking specialists, as well as via a branch.

“Whether it’s a small business choosing tap to phone to take payments at the markets or a farmer managing invoices from their tractor via our app, the way our regional customers are choosing to bank has changed, with many preferring the ease of having a bank in their pocket,” said Mr Yetton.

“Our bankers and branches have a significant role in the digital transition. We’ll continue to expand these capabilities using the deep local knowledge and expertise of our regional teams by exploring if there is an opportunity to transform some branches into locations that can provide face to face service as well as virtual banking support for other regions,” he said.

Ways to bank with Westpac

  • Multi-brand network. Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne customers can access over 500 locations across Australia for cash transactions following the rollout of technology which connects Westpac’s branch network.
  • Australia’s largest fee free ATM network. Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne personal and business transaction account customers can access fee free ATM withdrawals and balance enquiries at almost 2,000 locations in regional Australia including atmx, Precinct and any big four bank ATM, and over 6,700 nationally.
  • Australia’s #1 banking app1. Westpac customers can access a suite of money management features that allow them to stay on top of their finances by setting savings goals, creating personalised budgets, and tracking income and expenses.
  • Virtual banking. Connects customers over the phone or through video with our bank specialists across the country, whether it’s related to everyday banking, finding out more about a home loan, or getting support to manage the next steps for their business.
  • Bank@Post. Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne customers have access to  around 3,400 locations across Australia for cash transactions, including 1,800 in regional Australia.
  • Remote Services Team and Indigenous Call Centre. Dedicated teams that provide essential non-cash banking service and support, including visiting more than 30 communities in rural and remote locations each year. Customers can call 1800 230 144 Monday to Friday 9am – 6:30pm CST for support.


Notes to editor:

This announcement relates to Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne branches in regional areas defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Australian Statistical Geography Standard Edition 3. It is an extension of Westpac’s year-long moratorium on regional branch closures announced in February 2023.


The Forrester Digital Experience Review™: Australian Mobile Banking Apps, Q4 2023


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