UNIMPRESSED: Charlie Speranza found out through word of mouth of ANZ's closure
UNIMPRESSED: Charlie Speranza found out through word of mouth of ANZ's closure Liana Walker

ANZ checks out of town

GRANITE Belt business owners are shaking their heads over ANZ's decision to close its Stanthorpe branch.

They said they had received no notification of the closure from ANZ, but learnt of the bank's decision through social media.

ANZ is the third bank in the past five years to close its doors in town, with Suncorp shutting in 2017 and Westpac in 2015.

Business owner Charlie Speranza has banked with ANZ since 1984.

He said many of his clients paid by cheque, meaning he visited the branch weekly.

He said they relied heavily on their bank managers.

"The banks treat you as a number, they don't know who you are, they don't care," he said.

"But your bank manager knows who you are, they treat you as an individual."

An unnamed business owner said after 12 years they have been forced to change banks.

She said her clients' funds need to be deposited on the day they are received and cleared within a couple of days.

She said ANZ's alternative Bank@Post facility was unsuitable as it could take up to 10 days for the funds to show in the accounts.

"It's such a disappointment that the ANZ has such a disregard for rural clients," she said.

An ANZ Spokesperson said only 18 per cent of their Stanthorpe customers use the branch, with 60 per cent of them preferring online or mobile banking.

Chamber of Commerce president Ian Henderson agreed very few people still used bank branches.

He said the real disappointment was the loss of jobs in the area.

"Is the ANZ closing their branch going to bankrupt the businesses?

"No. Is it going to impact the community?

"Absolutely."

"They've failed to appreciate the community impact and are thinking from the ANZ corporate head office."

Federal member for Maranoa David Littleproud has called for ANZ to reconsider its decision.

"I believe rural communities are entitled to know the trigger point that kicked off this blanket closure or - at least - be given the opportunity to support an underutilised service," he said.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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