Westpac to reduce branch hours in Sydney area



Westpac has reduced the operating hours of 195 branches in Greater Sydney, after the government of New South Wales extended the region’s lockdown until the end of August due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Affected branches will operate from 9:30am to 2:30pm starting Tuesday, according to a report from the Australian Financial Review.

Read more: Westpac welcomes state, federal support for Greater Sydney lockdowns

Ross Miller, chief engagement officer at Westpac, told AFR that the bank reduced branch hours to “give our employees the opportunity to better juggle home and workloads during this unusual time.”

“We have seen reduced foot traffic in our branch network during lockdown as more people stay home, and we would encourage customers with non-essential banking needs to use our mobile, online and telephone banking services where possible,” said Miller.

AFR said that the move was supported by the Finance Sector Union (FSU). Julia Angisano, national secretary at FSU, told AFR that the bank had also suspended performance goals for branch staff.

“The FSU has been asking all banks to stop insisting staff meet sales targets during the pandemic,” Angrisano told AFR. “We are calling on all banks to follow Westpac’s lead and suspend sales targets and allow workers to get home as soon as they can rather than remaining in workplaces unnecessarily.”

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