JUST two-and-a-half years after the Wycheproof branch of ANZ bank shut its doors, services with the bank will again be reduced.
The Guardian understands a dispute between Australia Post and the bank has resulted in ANZ banking services (Bank@Post) ceasing at the post office from Monday (January 14).
An ANZ spokesman confirmed the ATM located at 316 Broadway will remain.
Wycheproof Community Resource Centre chairperson Ann Durie said when the branch closed in 2016, they were assured "you will always be able to bank at the post office".
"The ANZ branch was open three days per week and was renting space at the Wycheproof Resource Centre," Ms Durie said.
"This equates to a deficit of $6000 per year to the not-for-profit organisation as well as employment for two staff.
"Going from the post office means either travelling to another branch, the closest being Donald or a bit further to Swan Hill or Bendigo."
Ms Durie also questioned with all the closures, if the ANZ branch in Donald would continue to operate.
"It's another service that leaves our smaller towns making us feel bitter towards the big businesses just looking for profit," she said.
"ANZ said that not renewing post office contracts would only affect 900 businesses Australia wide.
"But, we feel that they haven't taken into account that farming enterprises are businesses as well," she said.
Ms Durie said if banking had to be done elsewhere, people would also choose to shop out of town.
She said visitors to the town and other smaller towns may also be unaware about the changes.
Ms Durie of said the older generation would be hit hard, due to some people not trusting online banking.
"Many have been loyal to their banks for years and are very upset and stressed about change," she said.
"As a co-owner of Bakery on Broadway, we decided to bank with ANZ when we began operating to help keep the branch open.
"We remained loyal when the branch closed, but now have been forced to change as we cannot spend hours driving to do our banking."
She said for some, changing bank with loans, overdrafts, and just for day-to-day banking would also be a "nuisance".
Resource centre manager Averyll Loft said since the closure of ANZ in Wycheproof, the only other banking service available was through the post office.
She said Bendigo Bank also provided an agency service via the Charlton and District Community Bank; with a prescription depot in Wycheproof.
In mid-December, an information session was held at the resource centre for residents, farmers and business to meet with bank representatives.
Ms Loft said representatives from Bendigo Bank and Commonwealth Bank, as well as the state and regional managers for Licensed Post Office's for Bank@Post, attended the session to answer questions in relation to the issue.