Regional banking issues paper now on public exhibit

The Regional Banking Taskforce is calling for public comment as it investigates how branch bank closures are affecting regional communities.

To that end, an issues paper and guidelines for making submissions were published last week by the Federal Treasury.

The taskforce was established on 22 October, with the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) among its members.

It met for the first time on 9 November.

At the meeting, ALGA President Linda Scott said a lack of banking and financial services can hinder growth and development for local and regional communities.

“Fewer banking options potentially threaten efforts to attract more people and businesses to our regions,” she said.

“Banks are an essential service, just like pharmacies, supermarkets, medical practices, and government services, and their physical disappearance can create considerable difficulties for local communities.”

The next Taskforce meeting will be held on 8 December.

Submissions can be made up until 18 December.