Bankwest confirms growth plans with transition to digital bank

6 March 2024

Bankwest will transition to a digital bank in 2024, enabling it to accelerate investment in delivering simple and easy digital banking and broker services to meet the needs of more homeowners across Australia.

The transition of Bankwest to a digital bank will result in the closure of 45 Bankwest branches by October 2024. The completion of this transition will unlock a range of long-term benefits for Western Australia including:

  • the conversion of 15 regional Bankwest locations to CBA branches, expected by the end of 2024. CBA will operate the largest bank branch footprint in WA with the extension of its support for personal and business customers in regional WA.
  • 500 CBA Group roles in technology, operations, and customer service redirected to WA, in support of Bankwest’s digital transition, offering new career pathways for Western Australians in next generation banking jobs.
  • a new career opportunity offered to every branch colleague impacted by this change.

The decision for Bankwest’s digital transition in 2024 is influenced by rapidly changing customer preferences, with 97 per cent of all Bankwest transactions now completed digitally, and fewer than two per cent of customers visiting a branch regularly.

Bankwest’s WA branches now average about 30 over-the-counter transactions per day, and 15 in regional WA.

Bankwest Executive General Manager Jason Chan said he recognised the change would be challenging for some customers and that supporting them in the transition, while retaining impacted branch colleagues in new roles, were his main priorities.

“I understand this will be difficult news for some of our customers and Bankwest is introducing a range of support measures to help our customers who are regular branch users carefully through this transition,” he said.

“It’s critical we prioritise investment for the majority of our customers who expect leading digital and broker banking services, and rarely use branches, but we have a clear focus on the needs of our regular branch users at this time.”

Bankwest is contacting regular branch customers to inform them of the key support measures, which will include:

  • Bankwest Community Bankers in select communities where branches close, to help customers during the transition period with non-cash face-to-face service and support.
  • a specialist Bankwest Community Assistance team in Bankwest’s WA-based 24/7 contact centre to offer customers needing more help priority phone support from specially trained colleagues.
  • Bank@Post at more than 350 Australia Post offices in WA, offering many everyday banking and cash services.
  • continued fee-free access to CBA’s network of 132 ATMs in WA.
  • a dedicated program to offer to help carefully transition about 2,000 Bankwest customers who only use a branch to CBA everyday banking accounts, if they choose to do so, so they can continue to access branches.

Mr Chan said dedicated reskilling programs would help impacted Bankwest branch colleagues explore a broad range of career pathways, including opportunities to continue to serve customers in digital channels where more support was needed.

“Our branch colleagues have invaluable knowledge and experience, and they will all be offered opportunities to access the next generation of banking jobs so they can continue to support customers nationwide from in their own communities.

“Looking ahead, customers will have a clear and distinct choice between CBA’s personal and business banking offering and national branch network, and Bankwest’s simple and easy digital and broker offering, focused on homeowners’ needs.

“CBA has the largest branch footprint of any bank, and all regional CBA branches will be open until at least the end of 2026.

“Bankwest is here to stay - our transition to a digital bank is unlocking significant investment from the CBA Group to create a world-class Bankwest offering and support our growth nationwide, powered by WA colleagues passionate about our customers.

“Bankwest is now 129 years old and we’ll continue to evolve in the years to come to ensure we remain a sustainable, growing, and successful WA-based business, and a major WA employer, in a highly competitive national banking sector.

“We look forward to maintaining our historic support for our home state, as a growing business, a major WA employer, and with a broad set of WA-focused partnerships and sponsorships that support the ongoing growth and development of WA.”

About Bankwest
Bankwest’s vision is to be a simple, easy bank for the Australian homeowner of today and tomorrow, and our purpose is to build a brighter future for all. Bankwest provides personal and everyday banking solutions for customers across Australia. We support customers in doing their banking in the ways that suit them, with innovative digital solutions, an Australia-based 24/7 Contact Centre, and a passionate broker community. Bankwest is a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit license 234945. Bank@Post is an agency service provided by Australia Post on behalf of Bankwest. Bank@Post is available at participating Post Offices. Services available are cash withdrawals, deposits and balance enquiries. Limits apply.

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