Walpole’s only bank withdraws from CRC

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
The Walpole CENTRAL building that houses the Walpole Community Resource Centre today
Camera IconThe Walpole CENTRAL building that houses the Walpole Community Resource Centre today

The only bank operating out of Walpole has announced it will close next month.

Walpole Bendigo Bank, run by the local Community Resource Centre, will close on June 28 after its head office in Mt Barker decided it was too costly to maintain the service.

Walpole CRC general manager Cherie Smith said she had to let go three staff members because of the closure.

“The time and cost factor for the Mt Barker branch to service its agency in Walpole are very costly,” she said.

“All up, it’s a three-hour journey for them to service the agency here. It costs a lot of money to buy and sell cash because you need security guards and armoured trucks,” she said.

Ms Smith said many Walpole locals were over 60 and frequently used the town’s bank.

“There’s an awful lot of our population who don’t use computers or internet banking,” she said.

“They would be the one who are going to really feel this.”

Ms Smith said unless there was a miracle in the next month, there would be no bank operating from Walpole.

“We want to explore every possible avenue and we’re still in the process of talking with banks from Denmark and Albany to see if they are willing to help us and open a branch here,” she said.

Walpole CRC is holding internet banking classes to help its community deal with the prospect of not having a local bank.

“As you can imagine, there are an awful lot of community groups here in town and they often deposit money here in the bank,” Ms Smith said.

“I would say we’ve got around 100 businesses and families using the bank regularly.

“Unless they have a card for the organisation, then they wouldn’t be able to do it in the post office.

“They have to go to the bank in Denmark. Change is also a big issue — local businesses would have to get their change from Denmark banks, too.”

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