The Bank restates its commitment to regional NSW

17 August 2004

The Bank responds to union claims that it planned to withdraw business banking services from some regional centres. The following statement was sent to media in regional NSW following incorrect reports that the Bank intended to close branches:

The Commonwealth Bank is not closing any branches in regional NSW or reducing its Business Banking operations in the State, contrary to recent claims.

The Bank is changing the way it provides services to its business clients right across Australia and this means the creation of nine new mobile business banking specialists in regional NSW.

These are frontline positions. The new business banking specialists will be highly accessible and will provide face-to-face contact with clients where they live and work.

As a result, the requirements of business customers in some centres will be met by a travelling Business Banking specialist.

This change will not mean a reduction of services and across regional NSW will result in the loss of only one position. No branches are closing. The Commonwealth Bank has undertaken to keep its branches (about 1000 across Australia) at current levels, including in NSW.

From a customer’s point of view, the Bank has improved the service to business clients by streamlining credit processes and giving authority for decision-making to the local business banking specialist who has contact with the client. This has resulted in faster credit decisions and to loan approval times being cut by up to 50 per cent.