May 23, 2015

CommBank branches close around Australia in response to protest

(SYDNEY) — Protesters have gathered at CommBank branches in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, (Perth event at 11am AWST), to close their accounts in protest over Commbank’s potential investments in Galilee coal mines and the Abbot Point port, where coal would be exported through the Reef. In response, CommBank have closed a number of major branches unannounced.

“The Commonwealth Bank prides itself on stakeholder engagement. Closing down branches across Australia is no way to engage with customers about their concerns with the bank’s refusal to rule out investing in new coal and reef wreckage,” said Blair Palese, CEO of at the Sydney Chinatown Commonwealth Bank protest, where the branch had been closed.

Commbank is the only major Australian bank to publicly admit to considering financial backing for the proposed Adani mega coal mine and coal port expansion on the Great Barrier Reef, one of the most controversial proposals in Australian history.

Today’s events come as the finale on the heels of over 100 actions in 43 cities across the world that took place over the past five days. All actions were led by local community members demanding CommBank — the largest financier of fossil fuel projects on the Great Barrier Reef — refuse funding the Galilee Basin coal mining proposal and Abbot Point coal port expansion on the Reef.


Charlie Wood 0427 485 233

Blair Palese, 0414 659 511