State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, yesterday spoke in State Parliament about yet another closure of a Newcastle Permanent Building Society branch in the western suburbs of Newcastle.
In the past few months, a number of banks and building societies have announced the closure of local branches, making it more difficult for customers to access services from their financial institutions.
The Newcastle Permanent has recently closed vital services at the John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle University and now the last remaining financial institution in Lambton. This is the fourth to close in the area in the last two years.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“Lambton residents and business owners have been left aghast by this decision by the Newcastle Permanent.”
“Despite being some of the most profitable companies in Australia, financial institutions have abandoned the people in the western suburbs by closing vital services like this one in Lambton.”
“Local businesses feel let down with the Newcastle Permanent being the last financial institution in the suburb to go. Elder Street is one of the busiest local shopping strips around Newcastle and it’s a real shame to think our locally grown Building Society will be walking away.”
“While the Newcastle Permanent pointed out that there are seven branches within short distance of the Lambton branch, the recent transport chaos caused by the reorganisation of the Newcastle bus network means it’s difficult for less mobile people to get from Lambton to the closest branches at New Lambton, Waratah and Jesmond.”
“These banks and building societies need to understand that not everyone is able or willing to use online services.”
“These institutions love to spruik their credentials as being local and friendly but don’t back it up when they close local branches and advise customers to stay loyal and just get online.”
“I have written to them asking them to reconsider this decision. They need to take the concerns of local residents into account.”
“We have been fighting for 11 years now to fix this problem. We don’t want to see a repeat of 2007.”
“The Government needs to put up the money so Council can get on with the work of protecting the people in Wallsend.”