The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price is trading lower on Wednesday morning.
At the time of writing, the banking giant’s shares are down 1% to $99.78.
This makes the CBA share price the worst performer among the big four banks today.
Why is the CBA share price under pressure?
The softness in the CBA share price today appears to have been driven by the announcement of changes to the bank’s regional branch network.
According to the release, branches across 90 regional locations will change their opening hours to 9:30am to 1:00pm.
After these branches close, staff will begin to assist the bank’s Australian-based contact centres, which it notes are receiving more than a million increasingly complex customer enquiries every month.
Why is CBA making these changes?
CBA’s Executive General Manager of Customer Service Network, Mark Jones, revealed that these moves will allow the bank to adapt to changing customer needs while saving jobs in regional communities.
Mr Jones said: “Our branches in regional Australia will continue to play an important role in delivering great service to our customers now and into the future, and this is an example of how we are adapting to meet changing customers’ evolving needs while ensuring jobs stay in regional communities.”
“We’re expanding our Australian-based contact centre network from five dedicated locations to over 90 communities across the country, while keeping a physical banking presence in regional communities,” he added.
CBA explained that while the coronavirus pandemic has not changed how it determines its branch footprint and services, it has accelerated the continuing shift in customer preferences towards digital and contact centre services.
In recent years, Australia’s largest bank has seen a significant increase in customers self-serving on the app or via NetBank, with CBA now serving 7.5 million digitally-active customers.
The bank notes that outside of these new trading hours, [email protected] will continue to be available at 3,500 Australia Post outlets for customers who prefer face-to-face banking services.
CBA recently renewed its 110-year partnership with Australia Post until 2032, so both personal and business customers can make withdrawals, deposits and bill payments, including passbooks, during normal business hours.
It also highlighted that all of these 90 local communities already have convenient 24/7 access to CBA ATMs, which will remain available.
Mr Jones commented: “We understand these changes may be an adjustment for some of our customers, and the team at their local branch will continue to be available to help them find the solutions that best suit their needs.”
“We’re concentrating on offering a range of different but complementary options for millions of Australians to complete their everyday banking, including our branches, [email protected], our Australian-based contact centres, ATMs, and our digital services,” he added.