BNZ reduces banking hours

Methven BNZ customers are being left out in the cold if they go to do their banking after 2.30pm.

Late last month the town’s only bank branch changed its opening hours, and these have also been reduced at the Remarkables and Geraldine branches.

The Methven and Geraldine BNZ’s new hours, introduced June 26, are 10am to 2.30pm. The Remarkables BNZ’s new hours are 9.30am to 12.30pm then 1.30pm to 5.30pm.

Methven resident Emily Cooke said her husband had gone to the bank recently to set up an account, but there were no appointments left that day because it was soon to close at 2.30pm.

“How can a child bank pocket money, how can a working person get to the bank?” Cooke said.

A BNZ spokesperson replied to a Guardian media query by email, and said the bank was constantly reviewing the locations of its store network and the branchs’ opening hours. This was to make sure it was focusing investment in the areas it could best serve the changing needs of customers.

“Every day we are grappling with the fact that the banking world is changing rapidly. The reality of banking today is that 89 per cent of our transactions are made using our digital channels. A decline in demand for in-store transactional and advisory services in Remarkables, Methven and Geraldine reflects this fact,” he said.

As well as ATM services at those locations, customers could access internet, mobile and phone banking services, and specialist support was available via its contact centre 24/7.

- Ashburton Guardian

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