Locals against bank relocation

Mt Edgecombe resident, Shan Perumal, has totally opposed the relocation of a bank, which serves the community, to Cornubia Mall.

Mt Edgecombe residents and businessmen have expressed fury over plans to relocate a bank from the Mount Edgecombe Plaza to Cornubia Mall at the end of September, without consulting them first.

These residents, including Shan Perumal, said they are unhappy and totally against the decision. “Our argument here is that the bank is servicing the people in this area and we have been supporting it. Now why close something that is working and relocate it elsewhere,” said Perumal.

The bank is widely utilised by people of Mount Moriah, Avoca Hills, Greenbury, Phoenix Unit 5, Rockford, Clayfield and Stonebridge and the move means that these residents will now have to use two taxis to get to Cornubia if they have to make enquiries inside the bank.

Perumal told the Phoenix Sun that he had overheard the news about the relocation from a source. “I was quite upset at the inconveniences that this decision will cause to the community and decided to approach a branch in Gateway and asked them where I can lodge a complaint,” he said.

Upon contacting the bank’s head office, Perumal discovered that the bank was indeed relocating at the end of September.

“We are even more infuriated by the fact that they did not notify the community via proper channels. They could have put up a notice or advertised with local print media. Why wait for the last minute to throw the bombshell,” vented Perumal in anger.

It emerged that majority of the people who are serviced by the bank are pensioners who will now have to suffer the inconvenience of paying double taxi fare to get to Cornubia Mall or Phoenix Plaza.

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“We are worried about people who do not have transport,” said a businessman who wished not to be named. Avoca Hills resident, Johanness Nkosi, who was queuing outside the bank, said he had overheard that the same branch wanted to close down last year, however, this did not materialise. “We are firmly against the decision. We cannot go all the way to Cornubia Mall to access the bank services,” said Nkosi.

Simo Hadebe from Mount Moriah said it is unfortunate that the bank management took the decision without considering the community first.

“Having a branch that is a distance away will mean that we will be unable to report promptly in cases of  card theft and ATM fraud. By the time we take two taxis to get there, it might be way too late,” said Hadebe.

Broadlands businessman, Prishen Sivanarain, was against the bank relocation, saying it is more convenient for him to use the Mount Edgecombe branch as he does cash deposits every week. “I have been utilising the bank to conduct my business deposits for two years and I am totally against the decision,” he said.

When the Phoenix Sun approached the branch manager, she agreed that the branch was relocating, however, she could not divulge further information saying that she is not authorised to speak to the media.

The branch head office was contacted for a comment, however, they have not responded.  Nedbank Limited Group communications manager, Mosa Mokhema, confirmed that along with other banks in the area, the Nedbank Mt Edgecombe branch will be relocating to the Cornubia Shopping Mall from September 20, 2017.

“As per Nedbank standard practice, posters of the relocation will be put up on at the Mt Edgecombe branch by August 25. Regional clients are set to receive SMS notification one week before the relocation. The last trading date at Mt Edgecombe will be on 26 September and closure will take place on September 27,” she said. Mokhema said the new branch premises will re-open at Cornubia on September 28.

“We apologise for those members of the community who may feel inconvenienced by the bank’s strategic move to a larger shopping mall nearby.  Cornubia Shopping Mall is less than 4km away from the Mt Edgecombe branch and offers a bigger retail offering that will come with improved banking facilities that will benefit more of our valued clients,” she said.

Mbali Khubisa

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