Concern over BNZ’s looming closure
Bank on ATM and a mobile service visiting Katikati
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
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.”