'Extremely disappointed' - Frustration as Westpac to close branch in Pinjarra

Peel community leaders have vented their frustrations after Westpac announced it is set to close its branch in Pinjarra next month.

A Westpac spokesperson said the branch, which is based on George Street, would cease to operate on October 11.

"Over the past few years, we've experienced a significant decline in customers transactions undertaken at our Westpac Pinjarra branch as more and more customers choose to undertake their banking in different ways, for example digital banking," they said.

"Any decisions on branch closures are not taken lightly. We take a number of factors into consideration, including usage, location, proximity to other services and community needs.

"As a group, we currently have more than 4.6 million digitally active customers, and in the past 12 months, less than two per cent of transactions were through our branch network, while at the same time over 80 per cent of our customers are enjoying the convenience of our online and mobile banking services.

"In response to changes in the way our customers are choosing to bank, we have made a decision to close the Westpac Pinjarra.

"Following the closure of the Westpac Pinjarra branch, the nearest Westpac branch will be located at Mandurah Forum."

The spokesperson said customers could access the Westpac ATM in Pinjarra or the post office to make deposits or withdrawals.

Murray-Wellington MP Robyn Clarke said it was a frustrating decision by Westpac.

"It is always sad to see services removed from communities," she said.

"I understand that Westpac has consulted customers well in advance and offered support and options.

"As Pinjarra grows, there will be a need for increased services in the future, and other providers will see this."

Shire of Murray president David Bolt said the decision was a blow for Pinjarra and more consultation could have been undertaken.

"The Shire is extremely disappointed with Westpacs decision to close its Pinjarra branch, especially considering the resultant job losses and lack of consultation with the community and businesses prior to the decision being made," he said.

"We believe that the decision is short sighted considering the significant investment and growth in the region and we are endeavouring to engage with executives of the bank to explore chances of reversing the decision.

"This is especially in light of the expected population growth for Murray and the districts economic development and diversification, which is being achieved through investment attraction, a focus on tourism and projects such as the Agri-Innovation Precinct, Peel Business Park, Murray Airfield and the Bushfire Centre of Excellence."

Westpac's Pinjarra branch will be holding morning teas and digital education sessions for customers prior to the bank closing.