Commonwealth Bank Temporarily Closes More Than 100 Branches
The Commonwealth Bank has temporarily shut down more than 100 of its branches and reassigned staff, as visits to some branches more than halve due to the pandemic.
A total of 114 of CBA's branches across the country closed from Thursday, with about 500 staff moved to call centres and online teams to deal with the rising demand for those services.
It's understood the branches will be closed for up to six months, but regular reviews will be carried out as to when to reopen them.
A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Bank said the bank had received more than a million calls and online requests since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in early March.
The spokesperson said calls to the bank's hardship line had increased by 800 percent compared to the period before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, visits to branches had fallen more than 50 percent at some branches due to social distancing and lockdown requirements.
"Transaction volumes in branch have dropped significantly as a result while there has been a large increase in customers doing their banking online through Netbank and the CommBank App," the spokesperson said.
The bank said branch closures will occur primarily in metro areas in order to minimise the inconvenience for customers.
"The vast majority of the temporary closures will occur at branches where another branch is operating normally within five kilometres," the spokesperson said.
"Our ATMs at temporarily closed branches will continue to operate as normal. Customers will also be able to use our Bank@Post service at Australia Post offices to do day-to-day transactional banking.”
The specific branches set to close have not been released, but customers can check CBA's website to find their nearest operating location.
Operating branches are already working to new trading hours, with branches closing at 4pm on weekdays and closed all day on weekends.
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