The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) at The Entrance closed temporarily last Thursday, May 7.
Staff have been seconded to support the bank’s call centre to cope with the huge influx of customer inquiries through the COVID-19 crisis.
It is expected the bank at 76 The Entrance Rd will be temporarily closed for about six months.
A CBA spokesperson said certain branches were singled out to close temporarily because of their proximity to the Newcastle call centre, they were close to other branches and would have the least impact on both customers and staff.
“Since the coronavirus pandemic was declared in early March, calls to our hardship line had increased by 800 percent – about a million calls in the past six weeks,” the spokesperson said.
“Over the same period, visits by customers to bank branches have fallen more than 50 percent in some branches, as people follow social distancing and lockdown requirements.
“Transaction volumes in branch have dropped significantly as a result while there has been a large increase in customers doing their banking online.
“As a result, we are stepping up our support for customers by reassigning about 500 branch staff to our Australian-based call centres and online operations.
“This means we will temporarily close a number of branches across the country, primarily in metro areas.
“To minimise inconvenience for branch customers, temporary closures occur at branches were another branch is operating normally within five kilometres.
“ATMS at temporarily-closed branches continue to operate as normal and customers can also do day-to-day transactional banking at Post Offices.”
Source: Interview & media statement, May 8, 2020 – Marketing & Corporate Affairs Commonwealth Bank.