Inglewood’s last bank closes

Inglewood’s last bank closes

INGLEWOOD’S only remaining bank closed its doors on Friday, a move business owners and a local MLA have labelled “disappointing” for the suburb.

The management of Westpac’s Inglewood branch on Beaufort Street cited the popularity of online banking and a lack of foot traffic as reasons behind the branch closure.

The closest Westpac branch is now in Karrinyup or Mt Lawley.

Stuart Rapley, the owner of Beaufort Street gift shop Yoke, said the closure of the last remaining bank in the suburb was disappointing but not surprising.

“I disagree with the comment about there being a lack of foot traffic though; each time I go in there I have to join a queue,” he said.

“I actually used to have to use the fast-deposit systems to avoid the queue.

“I think it is disappointing for Inglewood but I can see why it’s happening with online banking these days.”

Westpac regional general manager Ken Luehman said the closure was not a flippant decision.

“The way customers are choosing to bank with us has changed, and we wish for the entire Inglewood community to know that the decision to close the local Westpac branch is not something we take lightly,” he said.

“Just 2 per cent of customer transactions take place across our branch network these days, as more customers choose to use digital banking channels like mobile banking, internet banking and smart ATMs.”

Mr Luehman said the bank had partnered with a nearby Australia Post branch to allow for over-the-counter banking services in the area.

Maylands MLA Lisa Baker, whose office is on Beaufort Street, said it was disappointing Inglewood had lost its last remaining bank.

“The bank’s closure detracts from the efforts of the community, local government and myself to activate Beaufort Street – it’s a step backwards in keeping this an active and thriving streetscape,” she said.

“It is disappointing to lose an important service that caters for local businesses and residents.”