Suncorp’s Cleveland branch to close its doors

BANK CLOSURE: Lavinia Wood is concerned what the bank closing will mean for the community. Photo: Jocelyn Garcia
BANK CLOSURE: Lavinia Wood is concerned what the bank closing will mean for the community. Photo: Jocelyn Garcia

CLEVELAND’S CBD is about to lose a prominent business, with the Suncorp bank branch to close after more than a quarter of a century in the central location.

Customers will need to travel to either Capalaba Park or Carindale or use face-to-face services at Australia Post at the Cleveland Post Shop when the bank closes on Friday, September 7.

It follows the closure of an NAB branch at Victoria Point in March and the ANZ Redland Bay branch in 2016.

A Suncorp spokesperson said more customers were doing their banking online and by mobile phone.

Customers had been warned about the closure and Suncorp was reviewing its network operations.

Long standing customer Lavinia Wood said she was shocked when staff told her the branch would close after banking there for 26 years.

She was concerned about what it meant for Cleveland which was known as the civic heart of Redlands.

“It’s one of the first things every city and town gets – a bank and a post office – and now the bank will be gone,” she said. “We will be a civic centre without a heart.

“(Also) I am well aware senior citizens who either can’t or choose not to use technology regularly come to the bank.”

A Suncorp spokesperson said the decision to close the store was not taken lightly and was based on a range of factors, including alternative services.

“Our employees have been making it their priority to help those who are most reliant on over the counter service, including elderly customers, to understand their banking options and prepare for the store closure,” she said.

Ms Wood said she was concerned more banks would follow suit.

“I want to know whether our community leaders… have asked questions about how this will affect us,” she said. “The local government is selling parking lots for retirement villages and the banks are closing. It’s a contradiction.”

Redland mayor Karen Williams said she had written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, asking her to hold a community cabinet meeting at Redlands and to discuss how to provide a sustainable local economy.

“These local job losses coincide with a time of significant economic transition for North Stradbroke Island, with hundreds of jobs already lost on the island,” she said.

NOTICE: Suncorp has put a sign to notify customers of the alternative banking methods when the branch closes.

NOTICE: Suncorp has put a sign to notify customers of the alternative banking methods when the branch closes.

Redland City Chamber of Commerce president Lynne Sturgess said the news was unfortunate but she understood the shift in banking services and the cost of retail outlets.

“We promote local employment so seeing people possibly having to travel outside of the Redlands is disappointing,” she said.

Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson called on Suncorp to reconsider.

“While I understand that the bank will use the post office as a back up plan, there may be longer queues not only for Suncorp customers but for others who regularly go to the post office,” he said.

The Suncorp spokesperson said customers could do their banking on their mobile app services and mobile lenders could visit to discuss home loans and other needs.