CLOSED: Major bank pulls out of Coast town
THE hinterland town of Cooroy will soon be down to two banks as another of the big four prepares to close its doors.
On November 29, Cooroy's Commonwealth Bank branch will shut permanently and the ATM removed leaving customers to travel to Noosa or Tewantin for their banking needs.
CBA regional general manager Kylie Hall said due to an increase in online banking, transactions had almost halved.
"After a recent review, we made the difficult decision to close our Cooroy branch," Ms Hall said.
"Transactions at this branch have halved over the past five years, with customers opting for other banking channels such as our mobile, online and phone banking services.
"We understand some customers may be concerned, so want to assure them that during transition period, our branch team are on hand to help familiarise them with all the existing banking options available.
"Closing a branch is never an easy decision."
The Commonwealth Bank branch will be the second major bank to close in Cooroy in less than two years after ANZ shut their doors last year.
Despite the closure, one community bank is proving themselves stronger than ever, and is set for an expansion in early December.
Chairman of Sunshine Coast Community Financial Services Limited, who operate Cooroy's Bendigo Community Bank, Rick Cooper, said while the big banks were closing down, he was proud of the continued growth of smaller banks on the Coast.
"We have a lot to celebrate," Mr Cooper said.
"As other banks in the region close their doors, more of ours continue to open and we're expanding our investment in Noosa.
"In 2002, our Cooroy Community Bank branch opened after our community said it wanted its own bank.
"Locals funded it and as thousands of our local customers and shareholders know, that same branch is now part of a success story that is part of a bigger, national success story that is changing the banking landscape.
"Our board and staff are committed to continuing the work that has seen our Noosa branches combine to give back more than $1.1 million to community groups, clubs and schools."
Cooroy and Pomona Branch manager Simone Flavelle said the expansion would include hi-tech features with community at the heart.
"We're all really excited for our customers.
"Apart from being a full-service bank with industry leading customer service, our new Cooroy branch will be a custom built, customer-focused branch," Ms Flavelle said.
Renovations will take place from Monday, December 2, with the branch to re-open on Tuesday, December 10 at 9am.
The ATM will remain operational with the Cooroy team in a pop-up site in front of the branch, or customers can visit the Pomona or Tewantin Noosa branches.