HBF to adjust branch network as digital interactions with members increase

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HBF has announced it will close its Albany, Floreat, Kalgoorlie, Mandurah, and Rockingham branches in the coming months.

The company said that of the four million member interactions it receives in a year, close to 80 per cent are now through digital channels.

"Accordingly, the proportion of interactions through HBF’s branches has declined to 5.3% from 9.3% three years ago, with the balance through HBF’s call centres across Australia, of which the largest is in Perth," it said.

HBF said that almost all employees impacted by the proposed changes will be offered redeployment opportunities, including remote working.

HBF CEO Dr Lachlan Henderson said, “As a not-for-profit organisation, HBF has supported members by keeping our average premium increases below industry averages over the past five and ten years whilst maintaining a strong claims payout ratio.  We also focus on providing quality support to our members via our call centres and branches as well as investing in our increasingly popular digital channels.

“To continue providing value to our whole membership base, HBF must balance meeting the needs of our members with operating a sustainable business model.

“Given the changes in how we are interacting with our members – particularly the increasing proportion of digital interactions – we intend to close five of our branches in the coming months. We are also looking at other ways to reduce costs.

“These are very difficult decisions that we have not taken lightly, and I would like to acknowledge the impact this will have for some of our members and people.  We will be reaching out directly to our members who have recently used the affected branches on how we will assist them during this transition.”