NAB 1.35% $27.76 national australia bank limited

The ANZ's new rural branch ---ttacks on NAB.

  1. 96 Posts.
    ANZ yesterday said it had secured a lease in Koroit, 15km from Warrnambool in south-west Victoria, and would open a branch there on July 1.

    NAB is closing its branch in the town on July 26, relying instead on post office banking.

    It is one of 56 branches - 28 of which are in Victoria - the NAB announced it would close this year as part of its Positioning for Growth rejuvenation strategy.

    ANZ, headed by John McFarlane, made an offer to NAB to buy the branches and their customers. NAB refused the offer, claiming it was not genuine.

    The branch will have the same opening hours as NAB's branch. It will open from 9.30am to 4pm on Mondays and Thursdays and 9.30am to 5pm on Fridays. It will close from 12.30pm to 1pm each day.

    The ANZ said the Koroit branch opening was part of a wider strategy called "restoring customer faith", aimed at overturning community resentment which has built as a result of fewer branches and rising fees through the 1990s.

    ANZ district manager for the south-west region David Brown said the decision came after a meeting with local community leaders.

    "Based on community feedback it was clear people in the south west value having a local branch and face-to-face banking still plays an important role in helping them with their financial needs," Mr Brown said.

    "We expect the level of interest will increase over the coming weeks, particularly as our opening coincides with the start of the new financial year - a good day to support ANZ's new branch, close accounts with banks leaving the area and open a new ANZ account."

    Local federal member David Hawker praised the ANZ and urged locals to take their business to the new branch.

    "At the end of the day, a country person's money is as good as that of his or her city counterparts," he said.

    A NAB spokeswoman said despite the closures, the bank had the second-largest number of branches in the country, behind the Commonwealth.

    The ANZ's new branch is also the latest in a series of attacks on its rivals, particularly NAB.

    Two weeks ago, NAB announced it was going to cut by one-third the number of frequent flyer points accrued by its 150,000 gold card holders.

    At that time, ANZ ramped up a promotion offering free Qantas frequent flyer membership or bonus points for customers transferring their credit card business to them.

    NAB and ANZ soared to record closes yesterday, with ANZ topping $20 for the first time. ANZ rose 27c to $20.02, while NAB climbed 26c to $36.62. CBA was flat at $33.63 and Westpac fell 28c to $16.33.

    Herald Sun

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