The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) in Tamworth CBD has made a $2.1 million move to a bigger premises across the road, at a time when other banks are facing criticism for closing.
CBA branch manager Matthew Wilkinson cut the official opening ribbon on Monday, September 4, with the 13 staff members who will now be working from the 416 Peel Street site.
"Customers will see the same smiling faces and the same people and have the same great experience that we've always offered," Mr Wilkinson told the Leader.
Mr Wilkinson said the big bank's move is "all about investing in regional communities".
"In Tamworth, due to the population and how we're growing, we've invested in a bigger branch with better technology for our customers," Mr Wilkinson told the Leader.
The new bank has a 24-hour secure entry area with three ATMs, instant cash and cheque deposit machines, free wifi and video conferencing options for customers, and more space inside.
It is not yet known what will become of the previous site at 445 to 447 Peel Street.
Rosalind Watkin is a "very loyal" CBA customer from Coffs Harbour, and said the last time she was visiting her friend in Tamworth, the staff at the previous Peel Street bank were "amazing" to her.
"I wasn't well, and they were most helpful to me. I had not long suffered a stroke. And they were just so kind and they sat me down, so the service is amazing," Ms Watkin said.
Manilla local Robert Hoad said he has been banking with Commonwealth since the age of five, when he started school in 1953 and they gave him "the little money box to fill up".
"It's very nice, open, friendly and spacey," Mr Hoad said of the newly opened premises.
Tamworth locals Jennifer and Bob Southan weren't too fazed about the new bank, but said they'd rather it be there than not at all.
The pair said if the bank had chosen to shut down instead of staying open, they would have seriously considered changing banks.
"We do like having a physical branch," Mr Southan said.
"We can't do much online," Mrs Southan said.
Regional banks inquiry
Between 2017 and 2022, alarmingly, about 1600 branches from various banks nationwide, mainly in regional areas, shut their doors to the public.
It prompted a Senate Inquiry which attracted 561 submissions to April 28, examining the impact of bank closures in regional areas, with the report due by December 1, 2023.
The CBA earlier this year announced they would keep all bank branches in regional areas open until at least the end of 2026.
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