Cootamundra’s own Matt Holt has won Westpac’s Personal Banker of the year for New South Wales.

The 51-year-old received the annual award for Westpac branches across NSW after being recognised as performing to a high standard across all of his services.

“I do all of the account openings, home and personal loans, and interview all the customers,” Matt from Westpac Cootamundra said.

“I essentially got the most sales and best service in the state.”

Matt has continually shown his worthwhile working as a personal banker at the Westpac Cootamundra branch, having been continually receiving area awards and for the South West Slopes and Riverina region.

“I’m proud because I won that award for a lot of months that goes towards the annual one for the state,” Matt continued.

Matt has been working at Westpac for 32 years.

“I started here in Cootamundra in 1989, then I moved away for about five years, and have been back now for roughly 25 years,” he said.

“They sent me on relief staff for a while. I spent 12 months in Wagga and Tumut and then a couple of years on relief where I travelled around country New South Wales, down as far as the Victorian border.

“I went out to Narrandera, Hay and as far as Albury and that area.

Matt said he enjoyed his time travelling for work throughout New South Wales.

“They would send you on the road and I would stay in a motel or pub room for a week and then travel home on the weekends,” he continued.

“Most of those branches that I went to are all closed now. Those little towns had heaps of branches, so I got to see a lot of the countryside.”

Matt now lives on his farm in Stockinbingal, with his wife and two boys, aged 19 and 17.

But in his opening days at Westpac, Matt was transferred throughout the state.

“In the early days when I first moved here, they transferred you and you had to move,” Matt said.

“Every two to three years they would automatically transfer you to a new branch, but when I moved back 25 years ago, they stopped that system and you just applied for whatever positions were available.

“I’ve been happy to stay here and get married, have kids and live on the farm.”

Matt Holt of Westpac Cootamundra.

With the ANZ branch in Cootamundra recently closing last month, Matt mentioned that the Westpac branch in town was going as strong as ever and had even recruited some new transferring customers between the two branches.

“I think we are pretty safe. We are probably the biggest branch in town,” he boasted.

“We’ve become a lot busier since the ANZ branch has closed. We’ve gained quite a bit of business from the ANZ closure from people, especially the elderly, who come into the branch and do their banking.

“We’re hoping that will keep us a bit more stable than we were before. It’s sad for the town but it’s good for us.

“For businesses that want to bank a cheque or need change, it isn’t practical to drive to Young every time to do that.

“The ANZ branch was really good. They brought customers over and helped them transfer their accounts and that’s made us busier.”

Well done Matt on your award and great achievement.

Tim Warren