The last original tenant of Canberra's landmark Melbourne Building will soon leave, with the Commonwealth Bank announcing plans to permanently close its prominent corner branch.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia opened the branch at the corner of Northbourne Avenue and London Circuit on October 31, 1927.
But the bank says the branch, which has been closed since the start of the Covid pandemic while staff were redeployed, will not reopen.
Commonwealth Bank regional general manager Norm Swift said the bank had made the difficult decision to permanently close the Northbourne Avenue and Jamison Centre branches.
"Both branches have had a significant drop in transactions over the five years before the pandemic," Mr Swift said.
The ATMs at both sites will be removed later this month.
The Commonwealth Bank bought the lease for the corner site in Civic at auction on May 29, 1926 for £5600, outbidding other banks who also sought to secure leases in the new Civic Centre.
The bank built its part of the building to open the branch less than 18 months later, before Civic Centre, as it was known, was officially opened by the Prime Minister Stanley Bruce on December 3, 1927.
The Melbourne Building was also once home to the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales and the National Australia Bank.
The Commonwealth Bank established its first branch in Canberra in 1913. The branch - a weatherboard building at Acton - was later converted into the Federal Capital Territory's first courthouse.
The Commonwealth Bank sold the Melbourne Building branch, which was once Canberra's largest banking chamber, in 2017 and leased back the space.
Both the Civic and Jamison branches were closed in May 2020 and Mr Swift said the majority of customers who regularly used temporarily closed branches were now visiting other nearby branches.
"Our people from Jamison Centre and Northbourne Avenue have been supporting customers over the phone and online since May last year," Mr Swift said.
"They have all accepted permanent roles in those teams, or comparable roles in surrounding branches. There are no job losses as a result of this decision."
Visitor numbers to Commonwealth Bank branches have fallen by 22 per cent since last year.
Commonwealth Bank also recently relocated from its other London Circuit branch into a new branch in the Centrepoint building on City Walk.
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