Effective 20th November the Daylesford CBA branch will reduce its opening hours to 9.30am to 1.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

The reduced hours are part of CBA’s change to 23 branches who will now operate as “multi-channel branches”.  In the afternoons this change will see branch staff bolster the CBA’s national telephone support team.

Sharon Webb, Daylesford Branch Manager said: “We are proud to serve the local community and will continue supporting customers with our same exceptional service, which may include finding easy and convenient banking solutions as they adjust to our new schedule.”

Ms Webb said, “Outside of the new trading hours, Bank@Post will continue to be available for local customers who prefer face-to-face banking at the Daylesford LPO (local post office).”

Banks in regional centres have been closing in recent years because of the shift to online banking and this has left many rural communities without physical banking services. Over the past five years, 677 rural and regional bank branches have been closed according to figures from the prudential regulator.

CBA has committed to keeping its existing regional branches open until the end of 2026 at the earliest and reducing operating hours is one way of achieving that goal. Mark Jones, Executive General Manager Customer Service Network said, “We pride ourselves on great customer service, and multi-channel branches allow us to build on our commitment to keep regional branches open while providing customers with the best support we can, when and where they need it.”

This leaves Daylesford with only one-all day banking service, the Community Bank Daylesford District (Bendigo Bank). The ANZ branch closed in 2018.

Allana Wytkamp, the Community Bank’s  acting branch manager confirmed that it has no plans to change its opening hours (9.30 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Thursday and to 5:00 pm on Friday). Ms Wytkamp said, “Since the CBA announcement we have fielded a number of requests for new accounts from CBA customers who have flagged the reduced service offering and the ongoing need to do their banking at the Post Office.”

Mark Rak, Chair of Daylesford District Community Developments Limited (DDCDL) which operates the Daylesford’s Community Bank, said, “Any reduction of banking services in regional towns is a significant  loss for their communities. We appreciate that there is a demand for banking services all day and we are committed to providing this.”

Mr Rak went on to say “Banking products offered by Bendigo Bank are competitive for both deposits and loans and offer strong support for small business customers.”

The Community Bank is a franchise of the Bendigo Bank. Profits from community banking operation are returned to the community (over $700K to date) and to local shareholders.

This article is based on a media release from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Mark Rak, who is a member of The Wombat Post Editorial committee did not participate in decisions about publication of this article.