On 22 October 2021, the Regional Banking Taskforce was established to bring banks and other key stakeholders to work together in partnership to share information, assess the impact of regional bank branch closures and identify possible solutions.
The Taskforce came together for meetings in Sydney, Orange, Mildura and Canberra to hear and discuss how bank branch closures have impacted individuals and regional communities, and to work collaboratively to identify possible solutions. The Taskforce was also assisted by a public consultation, receiving over 400 submissions which helped to inform its work.
The Taskforce’s final report made 7 recommendations, which provide a way forward to help improve banking services in regional Australia. The recommendations cover:
- reviewing and strengthening the ABA’s branch closure protocol, and implementing branch closure impact assessments
- promoting and supporting Bank@Post services and maintaining access to cash
- improving support for regional consumers experiencing vulnerability
- supporting digital connectivity and literacy
- reviewing the APRA's points of presence data collection to better understand how people do their banking.