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The NSW Riverina town of Junee once had four banks.

Six years ago, this went down to two – and then ANZ left.

The last remaining bank in Junee – a Commonwealth Bank branch – had been slated to close in March.

But an upswell of protest from the determined town of almost 7000 forced the bank to halt the closure.

Rhiannon Druce, from the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory says her family business would struggle if the town's only bank closed.
Rhiannon Druce, from the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory, says her family business would struggle if the town’s only bank closed. (Supplied)

Today, a Senate inquiry into bank closures in regional areas is being held in Junee to hear from residents about the impact losing its last bank would have on the town.

In July, the Commonwealth Bank vowed to keep all its regional bank branches open until the end of 2026.

However, Rhiannon Druce, from the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory, said there was still a real fear among locals that the bank would not stick by its word.

“It does feel inevitable that it will close,” Druce told

For the Druce family business, losing the bank branch would mean having to drive 30 minutes to the neighbouring town of Wagga.

“That poses security risks,” Druce said. 

“It also means that you’re paying for someone to drive over there and back.”

Relying on digital banking was also a problem in regional towns like Junee because of connectivity issues, Druce said.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said.

“I think everyone in the town has made a pretty logical argument to say that we don’t even have proper internet, or constant internet on our phones to be able to be going online and doing our banking.

“With the amount of NBN outages and phone connectivity issues that we have here, I don’t think you can turn us to just a digital banking town when we struggle to keep 5G happening.”

The Commonwealth Bank has told the inquiry 39 per cent of its branches are based in regional Australia. 

However, the bank has also said it needs to remain competitive in a changing market where customer preferences are moving swiftly towards digital.

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