Labor directs city banks to call shots for rural communities

State-owned schools, health services and organisations have been directed to close accounts with smaller regional banks and transfer funds to Commonwealth, Westpac or NAB banks.

 The new Victorian Government purchasing contract requires large state-funded organisations to forgo accounts with smaller banking institutions in favour of one of the major players in the banking sector.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said this move reeks of another Andrews Government’s city-centric policy.

“Labor must immediately reverse its decision as it will rip local money out of regional towns, cost jobs and negatively impact needed sponsorship dollars in regional communities,” said Ms Bath.

“Many state-owned organisations have large accounts with their local community bank, which is crucial to supporting employment, community sporting groups and also offer great banking services.

“Daniel Andrews mandate to close all accounts from community banking institutions comes at the direct expense of our local banks that put so much back into our local communities.

“The Andrews Government has already closed many big bank branches in our smaller rural and regional townships, restricting customer access to banking services in Gippsland.

“If the Andrews Government had any clue about how regional and rural communities operate, it would embrace the value these smaller financial institutions offer to regional Victorians.

“Local banking is essential for our regional communities; it provides our residents with vital services and supports local jobs.

Ms Bath is encouraging Gippslanders to push back against the move and have their say by contacting the Federal Government’s Regional Banking Taskforce which assesses the impact of bank closures in regional communities at, or alternatively by visiting: