6 Jul 2012

Kurow's only bank closed due to quake risk

10:16 pm on 6 July 2012

Businesses in the Waitaki Valley town of Kurow say they are shocked their only bank is closing.

The National Bank says the Kurow branch will close permanently next Friday after an engineering survey found it did not meet earthquake standards.

The branch is the town's only bank, and the next nearest bank is more than 60km away in Oamaru or Waimate.

River Cafe and Restaurant owner Al McDonald says the town's businesses and its 500 residents are upset.

Mr McDonald says the quake report appears to be an excuse to close another bank branch.

He says the closure will hurt the whole town because people who do their banking in another centre will also do their shopping there.

The regional manager for the bank's owner, ANZ, says it is not economic to build again on the site and it has not been possible to find another suitable building.

Wayne Tippet says Kurow was not on the radar for any sort of closure before the quake report came in and expects to have answers next week about how the bank will meet customers' needs.