National Australia Bank (NAB) branches will be ripped out of the main streets of two small towns in the region.
The big-four bank maintains the service level won't drop for customers in Guyra or Uralla, but mayors of the local councils aren't convinced.
Armidale Regional Council (ARC) mayor Ian Tiley said the move means Guyra residents will need to travel an 80 kilometre round-trip to do face-to-face banking.
"This has been a continuum for 30 or more years with banks leaving country towns, it's disappointing," he said.
"In a country town you don't want to lose any service, you try to augment and the objective is to keep people in those towns.
"The population growth in Armidale is in excess of two per cent at the moment, because people are frightened of COVID and moving out to the bush, if the big institutions like NAB pull out of Guyra it will make it harder for it to grow."
The two branches will close on October 7 and NAB maintains there will be no job losses.
Staff will be able to work from other branches or provide phone or video assistance, NAB retail customer executive Wesley Tronson said.
"Over the past few years, fewer customers are coming into branches to do their banking and foot traffic has lessened, which has been accelerated by COVID," he said.
"More than 50 per cent of our customers in Guyra and Uralla have only visited these branches once in the last year and 70 per cent of customers are also using other branches in the region such as Armidale."
The Armidale branch will undergo a refurbishment later this year.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has urged customers to consider immediately changing who they bank with as he condemned the company's decision.
"It's been exactly 12 months since NAB attempted to close its Uralla branch, using COVID-19 restrictions and a decline in over-the-counter-transactions as an excuse," Mr Marshall said.
"In that instance people power saw the decision overturned, however, not happy with that, NAB is now kicking our hard-working small businesses and families in the guts again, with the complete loss of face-to-face services.
"This is a bastard act from a company that no longer deserves country people's support."
Uralla Shire Council mayor Michael Pearce said he will continue to fight to keep the branch, or look to other institutions to serve the town.
"The closure of the NAB branch will leave Uralla with one bank," he said.
"We have an elderly community and a lot of them still have the old-fashioned bank books.
"It's disappointing, we thought we had fought this before and it's come back again, we have a large elderly population here and people need banking."
The council has written to NAB about the closure, as well as Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and Mr Adam Marshall.
Mr Thornton said the NAB branch team will work with customers in the coming months until the bank closes, to talk to them about alternatives.
"These include our recently renewed 10-year partnership with Australia Post and the Bank@Post service as well as connecting with our mobile bankers, home lending specialists or business bankers in person or for phone or video appointments," he said.
Customers will be able to make deposits and withdrawals at the Australia Post in Guyra or Uralla and a NAB community banker will work at the post office to help.
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