Ranfurly faces closure of bank
A Central Otago town that faces the loss of its only bank is fighting back.
Westpac has announced a proposed closure for ’’a number’’ of banks around the country, including Ranfurly.
Ranfurly resident Amie Pont said the loss of the bank would be devasting to the community.
‘‘It is not just about banking habits, it is about a service it provides to the community. Even though we have a small population we are resilient and wellresourced. We have three garages, our own radio station, two schools, our own hospital and rest-home, three choices of early childhood education centres, a huge tourism industry with the success of the rail trail, we have a four-square, cafes, restaurants, hotels - we need a bank.’’
Another issue was the unreliable internet connectivity in the area which made internet banking hard.
Of all the proposed closures, Ranfurly was the only place that would be left with no bank if the closure went ahead.
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said she would hold a meeting in the town on Friday, August 19 to ‘‘try and find a way forward’’.
‘‘I’m really concerned for the people of Ranfurly. I accept there may be changes to the way banking services are delivered, but I’m concerned businesses, farmers, families and elderly people will be disadvantaged by this shutdown.’’
Westpac has told its Ranfurly customers it is proposing to close the branch. It is the town’s only bank.