More bank branches means greater choice for debit card users

Debit card users may have benefited from the greater number of bank branches open across Australia.

According to a survey released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the number of locations where people can put money into savings accounts and make withdrawals rose for the tenth consecutive year in 2011.

Steven Munchenberg, chief executive officer of the Australian Bankers' Association (ABA), commented: "Banks understand that some customers need or prefer to bank face-to-face."

He added that banking is one of the "most convenient and accessible services provided in Australia" and that in recent years there have been more branches opened in places with growing business activity and populations.

In 2001 there were less than 4,800 branches, but this year the figure rose to 5,588, up 16.7 per cent over the last decade.

Those who are unhappy with their bank accounts provider may find it easier to switch soon as the ABA is working on a scheme to make it easier to change to an alternative financial institution.

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