In a move that has left communities across Australia in dismay, major banks have continued their trend of closing regional and rural branches, pushing individuals towards a cashless banking system. This unsettling development is raising concerns about discrimination against those who rely on in-person banking services and the urgent need for an alternative solution. Ray said “Don’t get us started on the cyber risk!”

Ray Williams went on to say “banking branches are the backbone of many towns and communities, regional and rural banks have played a vital role in providing essential financial services. The closure of these branches not only disrupts local economies but also leaves many residents without convenient access to banking”.

Many argue that the push towards a cashless society neglects the needs of individuals who are not well-equipped or comfortable with digital transactions. The digital divide in our society is real, and these closures further exacerbate the disparities.

In light of these concerns, there is a growing call for a better alternative—a citizen bank operated by the government through Australia Post. This proposed solution aims to bridge the gap created by the closure of regional and rural banks, ensuring that all Australians, regardless of location or technological proficiency, have access to secure and convenient banking services.

SFF advocates for a government-run citizen bank believe it would be a fair and inclusive way to meet the diverse banking needs of the Australian population. Such an institution could prioritize financial inclusion, community support, and accessibility, providing a lifeline for those affected by the closures of traditional branches.

The closure of regional and rural banks is not just a financial matter but a social and economic issue that deserves immediate attention. It’s time for a constructive dialogue about the future of banking in Australia—one that ensures equal access to financial services for all citizens.