Bankwest to go fully digital by end of year

Bankwest is closing its branches as part of a decision to go fully digital by the end of 2024, it announced this week.
Bankwest closing its branches

Bankwest has announced it will close 60 branches by the end of the year to become a fully digital bank.

The Perth-based bank is owned by the Commonwealth Bank. It has been operating for 129 years, and has over one million Australian customers.

All remaining Bankwest branches are in Western Australia. The bank says 45 will shut down, while 15 regional locations will be converted to CommBank branches.

Staff impacted by the closures will be offered what Bankwest called “a new career opportunity”.

Bankwest closing its branches

Bankwest said the decision to close all physical branches follows a “rapid decline” in demand for in-person services.

Less than 2% of Bankwest customers regularly visit a branch, while 97% of customer transactions are now digital.

Bankwest ATMs will also be closing as part of the transition. Bankwest said it’s working with CommBank to allow fee-free deposits at some of its ATMs from later in the year.

Bankwest jobs

CommBank will redirect 500 jobs to WA. Impacted Bankwest staff in the state are expected to be offered some of those roles.

Executive General Manager Jason Chan said Bankwest staff “have invaluable knowledge and experience, and they will all be offered opportunities to access the next generation of banking jobs”.

Closures will begin from May, with the process expected to be finalised by October.

Bankwest backlash

Nationals Leader David Littleproud told Perth radio station 6PR that the closing of branches was a “broken promise” by CommBank.

Last year, CommBank pledged to keep all of its regional branches open until the end of 2026.

Littleproud raised concerns about the implications of competition in the banking sector. He encouraged Bankwest and CommBank customers to “shop around” in light of the decision.

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