January 28, 2021
Murgon’s branch of the National Australia Bank is closing on April 22.
Shocked customers learned the news – which has been confirmed by NAB – when they entered the branch on Wednesday.
Murgon Business and Development Association (MBDA) president Mark Smith said he was disgusted with the decision and the way customers learned about it.
“It was very, very poorly delivered,” he said.
“I walked into the branch yesterday morning to do my banking and they said the branch was closing.”
Mr Smith said he had already contacted the offices of Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington and Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien to alert them to the closure.
“I am still in shock,” he said. “I can’t believe that such a player, after the support that Murgon has given NAB, would do something so horrendous,” he said.
“To throw this on top of Target closing. I am just appalled.”
Former MBDA president and local businessman Leo Geraghty also said he was disgusted.
“Just a week ago, I made an investment with the NAB and there was not a word then,” he said.
Visit South Burnett president Jason Kinsella, whose business is based at Moffatdale, was slightly more optimistic.
“It may open up opportunities in the region for more innovative approaches by other more forward-thinking banks,” he said.
“It is a sign of the times about the way modern banking is moving.
“However, it surprises me given the buoyant nature of the Murgon business community.”
NAB Retail Customer Executive Craig Armstrong said NAB would “continue to serve our customers well, however they choose to bank with us”.
“Increasingly customers are choosing to do their banking digitally, with more than 93 per cent of customer interactions now taking place over the phone, by video or online,” Mr Armstrong said.
“We all understand that COVID has changed the world in many ways, including how many of our customers bank with us. Our investment in our services and locations is guided by how customers are banking – through digital channels, with mobile bankers or at a branch.
“The number of customers using the Murgon branch continues to decline, with 76 per cent of our customers also using other branches like Kingaroy.
“We understand the importance of bankers to regional and rural communities like Murgon, and we will continue to support customers with their banking needs. This includes connecting customers to a mobile banker, home lending specialist or business banker for face-to-face, phone or video appointments.
“Through NAB’s relationship with Australia Post our customers can also visit the Murgon Post Office to make withdrawals, deposits and balance enquiries for free.”
NAB says customers can check account balances, pay bills and make deposits up to $10,000 cash or withdrawals up to $2000 per day at the Murgon Post Office.
“Importantly, our goal is for no job losses as our colleagues will continue to support our customers at other NAB branches or the potential to work from home supporting customers through online chat, over the phone and by video,” Mr Armstrong said.
“We have sent our customers letters through the post and in internet banking to let them know of the changes and provide information about how they can continue their banking in Murgon.
“We are also speaking with them when they come into the branch, and over the next 12 weeks we will be showing them the different banking options available to them.”