Katikati Advertiser

Con­cern over BNZ’s loom­ing clo­sure

Bank on ATM and a mo­bile ser­vice vis­it­ing Katikati

- Chris Steel Business · Banking · Bnz.co.nz · Waihi · Katikati · Coromandel · Whangamata

The Katikati branch of the Bank ofNewZeala­nd (BNZ) is set to close be­tween Fe­bru­ary and March 2021. Bank ofNewZeala­nd con­firmed a re­duc­tion in the num­berofBNZ lo­ca­tions as cus­tomerde­mand­for dig­i­tal ser­vices ac­cel­er­ates and its peo­ple opt for in­creased flex­i­bil­ity and re­mote work­ing.

BNZchief cus­tomer of­fi­cer Paul Carter says Covid-19 has ac­cel­er­ated trends they had been see­ing for­some time.

“Around three-quar­ters of our cus­tomers are dig­i­tally ac­tive and they are in­creas­ingly choos­ing to do their bank­ing this way, or over the phone.”

Carter says eight metro branches will close in De­cem­ber and 30 branches will close over

2021.

He­says BNZ’s re­main­ing morethan 100-strong net­work of branches and Part­ners Cen­tre lo­ca­tions acrossNewZ­ealand will be sup­ported by near­ly400S­mart ATMs, three Mo­bile BNZbranche­s, a con­tact cen­tre and dig­i­tal and on­line ser­vices.

In KatikatiBN­Zwill have anATM that also ac­cepts note and coin de­posits and aMo­bileBNZser­vice will visit the town.

“There are job op­por­tu­ni­ties for all our Katikati staff and our peo­ple are happy to help our cus­tomers get on­line and sup­port them to use our on­line and dig­i­tal ser­vices, and our ATMs.

“We’ve given our­selves a long run­way be­fore closing our re­gional branches sowe­can sup­port the small num­berof cus­tomers that reg­u­larly use these lo­ca­tions to adopt al­ter­na­tive waysof bank­ing.”

One­lo­cal busi­ness op­er­a­tor at The Arts Junc­tion, BNZ­client Jac­qui Knight says they are re­ally con­cerned about the bank closing. The Arts Junc­tion houses sev­eral busi­nesses— a re­tail shop, art gallery, the­atre, In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre and runs other events such as mar­kets and fes­ti­vals.

“When­they (BNZ) an­nounced they were closing for the Christ­mas pe­riod wethought ‘oh well­we­can at least go to Waihi and de­posit our cash and get change or­ders’, but with Waihi closing too it re­ally puts us in a bit of a bind.”

Jac­qui says there are a lot of peo­ple­whos­till use cash in our town.

“It’s not just about our core busi­ness— what about the road­side fruit stalls, mar­kets, fes­ti­vals, garage sales, all of these use cash.

“I hope the BNZhas thought this through, es­pe­cially the im­pli­ca­tions for small towns. If they can­not ac­com­mo­date their cus­tomers needs wewill have no choice but to change banks.”

BNZbranche­s at Waihi, Whanga­mata, Coro­man­del and Te Aroha will close be­tween April and June 2021.

Coro­man­delMPS­cott Simp­son says he is dis­ap­pointed thatBNZhas de­cided to close its branches in Coro­man­del, Katikati, Waihi and Whanga­mata.

“While I ac­cept more­and­more cus­tomers are bank­ing dig­i­tally, it is sad to see the clo­sure of these branches across our area. These branches were staffed by lo­cal­swho per­son­al­lyknewthei­r cus­tomers.”

He­saysBNZad­vise that they will help their cus­tomers with the tran­si­tion.

“This is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary aswe have ahigher pro­por­tion of peo­ple aged over 65 and in­some­places around the Coro­man­del ac­cess to the in­ter­net is not avail­able or very lim­ited. More­over, somepeo­ple sim­ply pre­fer to do their bank­ing in per­son. This de­ci­sion re­moves their abil­ity to choose and it fol­lows hard on the heels of the re­moval of chequing fa­cil­i­ties.”

 ??  ?? The Katikati branch of BNZ bank is one of 14 branches closing in the New Year.
The Katikati branch of BNZ bank is one of 14 branches closing in the New Year.

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