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5 August, 2021

Mareeba’s ANZ bank set to close

MAREEBA’S loyal ANZ customers face driving to Atherton or even Cairns in the coming months if they wish to do their face-to-face banking in the wake of the major bank announcing plans to close its Byrnes St branch early next year.

By Michael Warren

Mareeba’s ANZ Bank branch is set to close early next year.

MAREEBA’S loyal ANZ customers face driving to Atherton or even Cairns in the coming months if they wish to do their face-to-face banking in the wake of the major bank announcing plans to close its Byrnes St branch early next year.

In a surprise development local customers received an email over the past few days informing them the bank will cease to operate in Mareeba from January 12, 2022. 

The bank however has plans to leave a Smart ATM in Mareeba, so customers can perform the same transactions they would normally do inside a branch including making withdrawals and depositing cheques and banknotes.

“We have notified customers personally about the closure and have let them know about all the alternatives available to them, including specialist teams on the ground in their region that can help,” ANZ General Manager for Queensland, Jacqueline Auf der Maursa told The Express. 

“We have provided a closure period of about six months to allow time for us to work with our customers on alternative banking methods, including online banking, mobile lenders and phone banking. 

“In recent years, we have seen significant changes in how people use online and digital options to do a broad range of things, including watching live sport, ordering groceries or doing their banking.

“In the last year alone, 70 per cent of our customers preferred digital banking options and many of our few remaining passbook-only customers have been choosing to use debit cards for the first time. 

“Of those customers whose home branch is Mareeba, just 7 per cent use in-branch transactions to do their banking. People aren’t using branches like they used to. 

“Despite many people changing their own banking habits, we realise the transition will be more challenging for some customers, particularly in certain rural or remote locations, which is why we have a dedicated team to help them. 

“ANZ has a dedicated team that proactively calls elderly and vulnerable customers in areas where branches are closing to help them set up and navigate the ANZ App. The team also assists them with other options including phone banking and accessing bank cheques via internet banking.”

Ahead of the impending closure the bank said it has factored in the future requirements of its current Mareeba employees and regular local business customers.

“For our business customers we have relationship bankers that will continue to visit them at their locations and we have mobile lenders to help customers with their home loan needs where it is most convenient for them,” Ms Auf der Maursa said. 

“For those employees who wish to stay with ANZ we will make every effort to find redeployment opportunities within the bank. 

“For those who leave, we will provide access to career coaching and outplacement support as well as access to our career training fund, which we have doubled this year.” 

Meantime, The Express Newspaper’s Managing Director, Carl Portella whose company Portasea Pty Ltd is a customer of the ANZ Banking Corporation said he is disappointed with the decision made by the ANZ to close their Mareeba Branch.

“We are an advocate of shopping and doing business locally with our community,” Mr Portella said. 

“If we have to travel to Cairns or another town to conduct our business and weekly banking, then it’s not viable for us. 

“I’m sure there are numerous other businesses that would have the same problem, so our only alternative is to switch banks.

“ANZ is one of the big four, (banks) how long will it be before the other three make similar decisions? “Where does that leave us as a community?”.


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