Maitland businesswoman Helen Stuckings has been a long time customer of the National Australia Bank for 32 but that relationship is about to come to an abrupt halt.
Helen is one of what's sure to be many frustrated Maitland NAB customers following the recent decision to close the High Street branch.
The bank will continue to operate its Green Hills branch and a spokesperson said there have been no redundancies as a result of the changes.
"The face of banking is changing, especially in how customers interact with us and we are adapting," the spokesperson said.
"While local branches are important, our customers have been coming into the branch less, and increasingly using digital or phone banking. More than 90% of our customer interactions are now taking place through these channels; online or by phone."
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"We are continually assessing where our customers are and how to best serve them. In response to these changes, the Maitland branch is scheduled to close on August 19," the spokesperson said.
Helen said she has contacted the bank twice in the last week to say how inconvenient it is for herself and the operation of her business Inspirations Hair Design. "I'm very disappointed," she said.
"I go to the Maitland branch to deposit daily takings each afternoon after closing time and once the bank moves I will have to drive to East Maitland to do it then drive home to Aberglasslyn," she said. "I already have internet banking but there will not be any NAB atm at Maitland to deposit cash and cheque's etc."
She said her parents don't have internet banking and will have to travel to carry out any transactions. "And if we have to go into lock down like Victoria and can only travel in a radius of five kilometres, mum and dad won't be able to get their money or pensions out as they live in Aberglasslyn," Helen said.
The bank is the latest in an exodus of financial institutions from the city centre. In 2016 The Greater closed but later opened in Pender Place. Newcastle Permanent left its branch in The Levee in March. The Commonwealth Bank also moved from the city centre.
"We have been in contact with our customers about the closure, and advised them of alternatives available to them," the spokesperson said.
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