Bank’s shock plan to close four CQ branches, cut jobs

MYSTATE BANK, formerly known as The Rock, has announced it will close its Central Queensland network branches in Gladstone, Rockhampton, Stockland Rockhampton and Yeppoon.

"As customer banking preferences have continued to dramatically change in recent years the role of the traditional bank branch is also now very different to what it was just five years ago," MyState Limited said in a statement.

"Changes in customer banking preferences include the rapid increase in customers moving to digital banking services, a decline in branch usage, along with the use of cash plummeting during the coronavirus pandemic."

"The number of customers who visit branches across our Central Queensland network has decreased significantly, while at the same time the preference for digital banking channels has increased.

"The decision to close the branches was not an easy one and we understand some members of the community may be disappointed. We have online tutorial videos to help people through the process of banking online. We can also provide assistance over the phone.

"To continue to transact in person, MyState bank can still make simple deposits and withdrawals through Bank@Post at Australia Post outlets using their MyState Bank Visa Debit Card (fees and conditions apply)."

Changes take effect On November 6, 2020.

Rockhampton CBD MyState Bank.
Rockhampton CBD MyState Bank.

Rockhampton Regional Council mayor Margaret Strelow wrote to The Morning Bulletin about the news, stating she was "disgusted" with the bank's decision.

"That is 17 jobs out of our community - 26 out of the broader region," she said.

"And these are jobs that we grew here by local commitment to the Rock Building Society.

"It's a timely reminder of the arrogance with which we are treated when our businesses are taken over by larger entities.

"The promises made at the time now sound like shallow cynical manoeuvring."

Cr Strelow said she and her husband would be withdrawing their money with MyState Bank.

"It has been too easy for the big players to just pull out of Rockhampton," she said. 

"We need them to think twice before they do it."

The Rock Building Society was rebranded as MyState Bank in late 2018 after it has been part of the MyState Group since 2011.

The Rock Building Society had been in Central Queensland for more than 50 years.

In 2018, the five CQ branches had 34,000 customers.

In 2017, The Rock closed its Emerald and Biloela branches and mini branches in Northside Plaza (North Rockhampton), Emu Park, Mount Morgan, Moura, Baralaba and Bundaberg.

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