13 Apr 2021

Banks promise no regional branch closures for 2021

From Checkpoint, 5:25 pm on 13 April 2021

Six banks are promising not to close any regional branches until at the least the end of the year, but that will not save dozens of bricks and mortar branches already earmarked for the chop.

ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB and Westpac announced today they will honour an earlier commitment not to shut any regional offices until a pilot of four small town banking hubs wraps up.

The hubs provide basic banking services, including a smart ATM and support staff.

The banks made the same promise in September 2019, but reneged on it after Covid-19 hit and customers' behaviour changed.

But following discussions with Finance Minister Grant Robertson, the promise has been resurrected.

The Bankers Association represents the six banks involved. Its boss Roger Beaumont explains their change of heart.

Minister Robertson's office has confirmed to Checkpoint he raised concerns with the banks representatives early last month because was worried about the number of bank branches closing.