Graffiti poem outside closed Heritage Bank laments Cleveland business downturn

THE BANK HAS GONE: A poetic graffiti artist lamented the closure of Heritage Bank in Cleveland.

THE BANK HAS GONE: A poetic graffiti artist lamented the closure of Heritage Bank in Cleveland.

AN ANONYMOUS Redlander has used graffiti to lament the closure of Heritage Bank in Cleveland, saying a lack of customer parking is to blame for a downturn in business in the Cleveland CBD.

The persontook to the windows of the Bloomfield Street bank, which closed last month, to write a rhyming message about the state of business in the area.

"Ding dong, the bank has gone. Hip hop, another empty shop. Feeling perplexed, who may be next (?)" they wrote.

They also wrote that a lack of customer parking meant fewer customers.

It came two months after council candidate Callen Sorensen Karklis started a petition saying the Cleveland CBD needed better parking and more affordable rent prices for businesses.

Some supporters on the petition said Cleveland was becoming a ghost town.

Redland City Chamber of Commerce president Lynne Sturgess said vacant shops had been noticeable in Cleveland for several years.

"If landlords are motivated to lease their premises it would be nice to see them at least make the area look attractive," she said.

"If people want a (vibrant) village, they need to support businesses in the area to enable them to remain open.

"I think a vital question is what do consumers want in the area?

"The Redland City Chamber of Commerce constantly remind people the importance of buying locally and support local businesses."

The Heritage Bank closure is the latest in a string of local bank shut downs, including Victoria Point NAB and Suncorp Bank in Cleveland which both closed their doors last year.

A Suncorp spokesperson told Redland City Bulletin in August 2018 that more customers were doing their banking online and by mobile phone.

Ms Sturgess said it was a global trend.

"It is unfortunate to see banks closing branches in suburban areas such as Cleveland however this trend is likely to continue as banks direct clients to online banking facilities and third-party distribution of lending products via the broker channel," she said.