LESS than a week after the closure of Murray Goulburn, the ANZ bank has announced it will shut its Rochester branch.
The branch, which has been servicing the community since 1873, will close on April 24, with the ATM in Gillies St to remain. Only two banks will be left in town — Commonwealth Bank and Bendigo Bank.
It is another blow for Rochester, with many people angry and disappointed. None more so than 80-year-old James Deverill, who has banked with ANZ since 1957.
‘‘I’m absolutely disgusted and disappointed,’’ he said.
‘‘Hasn’t Rochy had enough? First it was Westpac then NAB then MG (Murray Goulburn) and now ANZ.’’
He, like other customers, received a letter saying over-the-counter transactions will go to the post office.
‘‘It’s completely unfair on the post office,’’ Mr Deverill said.
‘‘They are already dealing with Westpac as well as V/Line and other postal issues, its just more work on them and more time for customers to wait.’’
An ANZ spokesperson said customers have been changing the way they do their banking in recent years, with more of them using online options and ATMs rather than visiting branches.
‘‘Of our customers who have Rochester as their home branch, only 21 per cent of them currently use the branch, with nearly 57 per cent of them preferring internet or mobile banking,’’ he said.
‘‘This has been a difficult decision and we apologise for the inconvenience we know this will cause some of our customers.’’
Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said it was just another disappointment for the town.
“ANZ bank customers will be extremely disappointed and inconvenienced by the closure of the Rochester branch,’’ he said.
‘‘Rochester has a well established Bendigo Community Bank under the guidance of very capable local directors, who are committed to sustaining and growing Rochester and district.
‘‘This provides a very good option for ANZ customers who wish to continue to bank in the town.”
Rochester Business Network president Glenda Nichol agreed.
‘‘Some members of the network who do bank with ANZ are worried about what they need to do,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s hard to say whether it will hurt the town, it really depends on what they do with their bank.
‘‘It just means they need to change their means of banking.
‘‘I encourage everyone who banks with the ANZ to bank with our community bank, which puts money back in the community.’’
Commonwealth Bank management say they won’t be leaving any time soon. ‘‘We are proud to have served the people of Rochester for more than 100 years and we will continue to do so through our branch on Gillies St,’’ a spokesperson said.