Banking services return to Springsure

The Capricornian celebrated the opening of its newest branch in Springsure on Monday 4th March, offering the benefits of face-to-face banking in the town that has not had its own bank since ANZ closed its doors in September 2017.

The Capricornian Chief Executive Officer Dale Grounds this week said the customer owned, Central Queensland based financial institution now had seven branches; two in Rockhampton, and one each in Emerald, Yeppoon, Gladstone, Miriam Vale and now Springsure.

Mr Grounds said it was important for a community to have their own banking institution as not everyone was techsavvy or had access to technology for online banking options.

“Some residents have poor or no internet coverage and being able to access a physical banking service often gave customers confidence” he indicated.

The Springsure office has opened with one staff member, who is a local, as well as the support of the three Emerald staff members when needed. “It was important we employed a local resident to manage the branch as they would understand what the region needs” Mr Grounds said.

“We can verbally answer a question straight away, which is incredibly important. Generally you can get the answer to your question there and then.”

Mr Grounds said The Capricornian is committed to investing over the longer term in the area with what was known as a “high-touch and high- tech” model – a term to embrace face-to-face and technology-based banking.

“We’re providing both models to people,” he said. “There is a whole cohort who do prefer to do everything online but there’s a cohort who do prefer to talk to people.”

“It’s a privilege for us to be able to go in and help these communities and if there’s other communities in the same boat, we’ve now got a model to build on.”

Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said the region was home to a significant agricultural and resource sector and the presence of a bank was vital.

“We think it is important for the community to have this facility and have the opportunity for a face-to-face banking experience in their community,” Cr Hayes said. “The banking model that seems to be predicated on the fact that digital access is available to everyone is not the case in regional Australia.”

The Capricornian is committed to investing over the longer term in the area

Dale Grounds, CEO

He said the community – including businesses and local organisations – wanted to support an institution in their own community rather than drive up to three times a week for personal banking in Emerald, which was a 120km round trip.

“They don’t all have internet and a lot of cash transactions still take place” Cr Hayes said. “I’m really glad that The Capricornian and CHRC were able to reach an agreement on a model to return this vital service. These communities are very loyal and dedicated and when a service is offered they will reciprocate.”

The Capricornian is located at 29 Eclipse St, in the CHRC office building.

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