By MICHELLE SLATER
Morwell is copping yet another blow to its retail strip as Bank Australia announced today it will close the Commercial Road branch on September 30.
Bank Australia will instead convert the branch into an office space in order to provide diversified local jobs.
Customers will be able to access branches in Moe and Traralgon.
The bank plans to hold an information session for local customers to discuss the branch closure.
Bank Australia managing director Damien Walsh said the Morwell branch closure was a “bittersweet” and “difficult decision to make”.
“But we are proud to be increasing our investment in the area through upgraded office space and new roles,” Mr Walsh said.
Mr Walsh assured there would be no job losses for Morwell branch employees who would be offered new roles within the bank.
The Morwell central business district has already lost three bank branches in the past 12 months.
It follows the departure of the Commercial Road ANZ and Commonwealth Bank branches and most recently with the loss of the Bendigo Bank branch on Tarwin Street.
Mr Walsh said the decision to shut the Morwell Bank Australia branch was informed by “thorough evaluation of the changing needs and expectations of customers”.
“The way customers access our services is changing rapidly and we are continuously looking at how we can best meet our customers’ needs through digital and face-to-face banking options,” Mr Walsh said.
“Closing our Morwell branch was a difficult decision and we understand the effect it has on our customers, staff and the local community.”
Mr Walsh said Bank Australia would remain “committed to being a significant local employer and member of the Latrobe Valley community”.
He said the bank employed more than 160 people in Gippsland and served more than 20,000 customers, “with strong growth plans into the future”.
“With our branches in Moe and Traralgon, our Moe and Morwell-based contact centre and lending teams, we’ll continue to grow our presence in the area by providing great job opportunities in a modern working environment,” Mr Walsh said.