Bankwest will adjust the opening hours of 29 WA regional branches, which will move to two and four days per week, due to a continued shift in customer preferences across WA and nationwide toward digital banking options.
Bankwest regional branch colleagues will continue to support customers through conversations in Bankwest’s App, online banking and WA-based national contact centre during times their branches are not open.
Bankwest country hub branches in Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Albany and Bunbury will remain open five days per week.
WA regional branch transactions have declined by 33% on average over the last five years. In contrast, customer App usage has risen by 31% in the last two years, generating 40,000 in-App customer conversations per month and contributing to 1.5 million contact centre customer conversations per year.
Bankwest will also close its 14 east coast branches, which have seen a 64% decline in usage, and focus investment in its digital and broker services to support national home loan growth and meet changing customer needs.
Bankwest Executive General Manager Jason Chan said Bankwest needed to make a clear choice to invest in areas where customers preferred to engage with Bankwest.
“Customers increasingly expect us to be simpler and easier to bank with via their brokers and our digital and contact centre channels, so it’s critical we meet these expectations,” he said.
“We’re exploring how we continue to get the balance right between supporting those customers who want to use branches while delivering the digital services customers expect of us.
“We’ll continue to be a leading retail bank in our home state, a Perth-based national business that WA can be proud of and a major employer that offers new career opportunities for West Australians in the future.
"On the east coast, Bankwest is in a strong position to grow as a homeowner-focused digital bank due to our distinct brand, first class broker services and digital investment plans."
Bankwest General Manager Personal Banking Scott Spittles said the bank was contacting customers about the changes and upskilling WA branch colleagues so they could continue to serve customers.
"We're writing to branch customers to inform them of the changes, support them in using digital services and help customers access alternative physical banking options where needed," he said.
“Thanks to Bankwest’s partnership with Australia Post, our customers can access more than 3,500 Bank@Post locations in communities across Australia for many of their day-to-day banking needs.”
Mr Spittles said Bankwest’s 'Fluid' workforce initiative, launched during the pandemic, was upskilling colleagues to meet changing customer demand across website, in-App and phone channels.
"We want our talented colleagues, who have incredible customer service skills and experience, to continue to grow their careers with us while living and working in the communities they love,” he said.
A complete list of changes to Bankwest’s branch network is available on the Bankwest website.