12 May 2021

Demise of bank branch: Are regional banking hubs the future?

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 12 May 2021

As more banks shut up shop around the country, there are increasing calls for the industry to find a solution to a lack of service in rural areas.

Earlier this year Kiwibank confirmed it would close seven branches - five of which are located in the regions - and in March a petition was delivered to Parliament on behalf of 33 mayors urging banks to reinstate rural branches.

Banks have said the rise of online banking has decreased foot traffic through branch doors, making them uneconomical to keep open.

Far North District Mayor John Carter says all communities in his region have reduced banking services, and options for online banking are hampered by poor internet and mobile phone links that make EFTPOS transactions and online banking almost impossible.

He wants a banking hub set up in his region, similar to that being run in a trial by the New Zealand Bankers' Association.

Kathryn talks to John, and Roger Beaumont, the Association's Chief Executive.

Closed Sign on a door

Photo: Mike Clegg/123RF