BNZ to shut 38 branches across New Zealand between December and June next year, says it will help staff 'find new job opportunities at BNZ'

BNZ to shut 38 branches across New Zealand between December and June next year, says it will help staff 'find new job opportunities at BNZ'

BNZ says it will close 38 bank branches because COVID-19 has "changed everything."

The bank will shut eight city branches on Christmas Eve, with a further 30 branch closures nationwide following between February and June next year. As of earlier this year BNZ had a total of 153 branches across New Zealand. 

"COVID-19 has accelerated trends we’ve been seeing for some 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," BNZ chief customer officer Paul Carter says.

“The majority of our customers are banking online and our talented bankers are often waiting in empty branches for customers that simply do not arrive.”

In June last year BNZ pledged to keep all of its regional branch network open for at least three years, as illustrated below. However, Carter says things have now changed.

“We don’t take this decision lightly. We made our commitment on regional branches in good faith. Not only was it a commitment to the communities we serve, it was also a commitment to our people, as closing a branch used to mean losing jobs," Carter says.

“However, COVID changed everything. Our customers have embraced digital services and tools and our bankers are serving customers irrespective of where they are. We’ve shown we can work from anywhere and there are job opportunities for all our people - it reflects the ongoing shift in how our customers are choosing to bank with us.”

Carter says BNZ will work with staff in branches that are closing "to find new job opportunities at BNZ, irrespective of where they are based.” 

ASB shutting 23 branches

The news of BNZ's branch closures comes hot on the heels of a similar announcement from ASB on November 5. ASB said it will shut 23 branches in February, and reduce the opening hours of 13 other branches. This follows ASB announcing in July it was closing nine branches with a further 25 to only open three days a week.

“There will be no job losses, we need our great people to keep delivering high quality customer service and advice via our telephone, video, online channels. Rest assured there will always be a place for branches at ASB, however, we see a future where our people work flexibly helping customers face to face in their local communities and nationwide through our other channels,” Craig Sims, ASB’s executive general manager for retail banking, says. 

"From March next year, ASB’s branch network will number 86, supplemented by more than 400 ATM machines. ASB will contact all regular visitors to the affected branches to ensure customers have alternative banking solutions in place, including offering free local better banking workshops to anyone who wants some help using online or mobile banking."  

The 23 ASB branches being closed are listed here.

ASB and BNZ are among the six banks involved in a trial of regional banking hubs, testing the demand for basic banking services in regional communities, that started this month.

Here's BNZ's full statement on the closures.

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today confirmed a reduction in the number of BNZ locations as customer demand for digital services accelerates and its people opt for increased flexibility and remote working.

BNZ Chief Customer Officer, Paul Carter, says, “COVID-19 has accelerated trends we’ve been seeing for some 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.

“The majority of our customers are banking online and our talented bankers are often waiting in empty branches for customers that simply do not arrive,” he says.

Mr Carter says historical ways of banking like cash and cheque transactions have fallen significantly and the majority of transactions conducted in BNZ’s branches have moved to BNZ’s Smart ATMs and online.

He says, “Branches will still have a role in how we serve our customers. We will continue to invest in modern Customer Centres to help customers take advantage of online banking and our digital tools, and where they can access specialist services.

“We recently opened a new branch in Commercial Bay and our new Whakatipu Customer Centre opened this month in Queenstown,” he says.

Mr Carter says the new ways of working piloted since March had been highly successful for customers and BNZ bankers alike.

“We have great bankers in our branches and we will be working with them all to find new job opportunities at BNZ, irrespective of where they are based,” he says.

Mr Carter says eight metro branches will close in December 2020 and 30 branches will close over the course of 2021. He says BNZ’s remaining more than 100-strong network of branches and Partners Centre locations across New Zealand will be supported by nearly 400 Smart ATMs, three Mobile BNZ branches, a contact centre and digital and online services.

“We’ve given ourselves a long runway before closing our regional branches so we can support the small number of customers that regularly use these locations to adopt alternative ways of banking.

“Our mobile branch, Mobile BNZ, worked well in the Manawatu-Whanganui and Northland regions bringing banking services and financial support to remote communities, and we will be adding additional vehicles to our fleet to enable more communities to receive financial support,” he says.

Regional commitment

Mr Carter says, “We don’t take this decision lightly. We made our commitment on regional branches in good faith. Not only was it a commitment to the communities we serve, it was also a commitment to our people, as closing a branch used to mean losing jobs.

“However, COVID changed everything. Our customers have embraced digital services and tools and our bankers are serving customers irrespective of where they are. We’ve shown we can work from anywhere and there are job opportunities for all our people - it reflects the ongoing shift in how our customers are choosing to bank with us.”

Other locations

Mr Carter said changes to its branch network are part of a wider review of all BNZ locations to consolidate its workforce.

“Our people have embraced the flexibility of remote working. It suits our customers and our people and changes to our office space reflect that,” he says.

For example, in Wellington work is now underway on BNZ’s new site at Whitmore Street to open in 2023. Once complete it will bring together BNZ employees from three other existing sites.

Metro branches to close on December 24, 2020 (8 branches).

  • Courtenay Place​
  • Greerton
  • Manurewa​
  • Mosgiel​
  • Mount Maunganui​
  • Pakuranga​
  • Papatoetoe​
  • Petone​

Branches closing between February – March 2021 (14 branches)

  • Cromwell
  • Geraldine
  • Huntly
  • Katikati
  • Ohakune
  • Opotiki
  • Orewa
  • Otorohanga
  • St Heliers
  • Taihape
  • Waiheke
  • Waimate
  • Wairoa
  • Westport

Branches closing between April –June 2021 (16 branches)

  • Akaroa​
  • Balclutha​
  • Coromandel​
  • Dannevirke​
  • Hanmer Springs​
  • Kaikohe​
  • Methven​
  • Reefton​
  • Stratford​
  • Takaka​
  • Taumarunui​
  • Te Aroha​
  • Waihi​
  • Waipukurau​
  • Whangamata​
  • Winton

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49 Comments

I have fewer resources (money) and make less profit than the BNZ, still when I make a commitment to someone I keep my end of the bargain. Is this aussie bank doing the same by shutting branches in oz or is it just the kiwis being shafted.

No longer the Bank of New Zealand, what shall we rename them as?

Bank of No Zeal and Will ?

Just as a matter of interest, and because there hasn't been a relevant other item here today to refer to, i have just been watching Barfoots auction online at Takapuna office, and observed a completely dry and slow day of limited bids and many passed in properties.
Thats not to say the passed in ones will not sell later at negotiation, but this performance is far removed from the headline grabbing "all systems go" reports i have been reading here about house sales ripping out the door.
A dose of reality coming to the market perhaps

Interesting, thanks for the observations. Market running out of steam?

Not your typical Greg Ninness newsflash?

You know the principle to buy on weakness, did you bid

The one I was watching in Takapuna - https://www.barfoot.co.nz/property/residential/north-shore-city/takapuna...

You could have bought this for $1.05m two-three months ago but it failed to sell and auction and afterwards and was re-listed. Yesterday it sold for $1.14m, the 'on market' price. Somehow the vendor's expectations change hugely. (Any CV mention of 1.05m I believe is the vendors getting it re-assessed up). Vendor's are getting greedy.

Good news - banks spoil the look of our streets.

TTP

turn into a 2 dollar shop instead no thanks

20
up

"talented bankers".... who came up with this nonsense?

25
up

Talented bankers.

Covid provided the perfect excuse

It's logical. I haven't been into a branch of my bank for years. Everything is done with this phone. I don't even have a computer now. Nor a dedicated camera. I use atms rarely.

True, banks do sfa and still charge enormously for the privilege.

More like pushing people into main centres.

How to Alienate Customers and Lose friends

A Pop Up book by BNZ.

Those customers and friends will come rushing back if BNZ decides to pass on those saved costs to cutting home loan rates.

The last time I checked, Aussie banks still held over 80% of all mortgages in NZ, despite all the criticisms and formal complaints. Most corporations have come to realise that the sheeple of this country are too nice to hold a grudge.

Cashless society soon will be here.
People use internet banking not visiting branches so can’t 100% put the blame the banks, altho they are trying to cut costs.....

Banks closing branches is all part of the transition to faceless banking’ where by mortgage applications will be decided by a computer trained in machine learning that will also conduct racial profiling as part of the process.

Thankfully, at present the elderly, and those not fully captured by the digital age can uplift a scooter or grab an uber to the nearest town or branch, now they are not entirely locked down

Try rolling that theory out in rural NZ.

This has been coming for a long time. Bank staff for last couple of years have been made to direct people in branch to use smart ATMs or internet banking as opposed to handling the transaction themselves. Its sad to see the branches go however due to the likely large layoffs there will be and irreplaceable jobs of this nature.

Just hastening the inevitable. There is no reason for most people to ever visit a bank now. I feel sorry for those who are too far behind the technological curve to ever take up internet banking, but they are very much the minority and their numbers dwindle every day. Long-term, banking will be a utility business with very low margins.

Walleted bankers (spooner)

I'm sure that the savings will be passed onto the consumers...

" as demand increases for online digital services " sure but the banks have made it much harder to access its branch services as they have cut back on staff and forcing customers to embrace the online platform.

Forcing?

Yes BNZ definitely... you also can't reach them by phone "leave a message and I'll get back to you" yeah sure mate

Hasn't ASB announced something similar recently? I remember seeing a list of a dozen or so branches that will be shut down.

Yep, follow the leader

In other nefarious moves banks no longer take cash over the counter. In addition, you can no longer deposit cash into someone else’s account.

cj.. "23 ASB branches in Feb". Read the article you are posting on.

"BNZ to shut 38 branches"

Either you're on the Bitcoin Train - Choo, Choo
OR
Going down on the Fiat Banking Ship - Glug, Glug

The banks in New Zealand are like the old Horse-and-Buggy-Brigade. They talked down the automobile, painted it as dangerous, tried to pass restrictive laws, etc etc - then just went bankrupt LMFAO.

Buy Bitcoin YO'LL

Can't buy lunch with BC

Have you tried? But why would you spend a deflationary currency (BTC) on lunch? You'd get rid of your fiat currency first.

"The bank will shut eight city branches on Christmas Eve" Barr Hum Bug....!!! So much for Christmas spirit.

Doesn't suprise me, BNZs parent group has been planning a ruthless cost cutting drive as they are less efficient than rivals.

Good businesses push out bad.

What most (if not all) the commentators here have forgotten about is the small businesses still requiring cash services - mainly small change. Once the last Bank leaves town in small rural communities those communities invariably retrench and die. The contactless and EFTPOS charges levied on small businesses are quite high and the consumer also gets levied. Check your bank statements - you might be surprised at the transaction charges. Every EFTPOS transaction costs you 50c

Digital world just around the corner. All part of the World Economic Forum's plan as outlined at the Davos meeting a few years back and which is now being implemented i.e. "The Great Reset" which is hardly mentioned on mainstream media...... unyet this "Fourth Revolution" is in plain sight if people get off their TVs and read about what is really going on. Cash will soon be a thing of the past, and as the World Economic Forum promo clip states very plainly "You will own nothing, and be happy."

I'm not that excited about the reset personally, perhaps a new political party is required?

The ‘Great Reset’ is binary, it will effect everyone on the planet, there’s no escaping it, it’s here and happening now.

That video has been taken down now...

Waited till NZ First and Shane Jones had exited.....

.

When transferring money from one bank to another I suggest readers do not let banks use your money for "an unlawful free day" by removing it from your existing account on day one and it not showing in the new account until day three. They effectively steal a days' free use of YOUR MONEY by using what they call a batch system, which is a scam that must net them tens of millions a year. Demand they do a manual transfer so you do not lose access to your own funds for a day.
Two banks (one was BNZ) did not comply with my requests and after threatening to involve the Banking Ombudsman I was paid 4 figures in compensation for me losing access to my own money for one day. It is a rort that we should simply refuse to accept.
The Banking Ombudsman will not agree to ask the banks to change their unfair system but will ensure clients are compensated on a case by case basis. My personal compensation was based on the increase in the NZX50 on the day that the banks unlawfully held my funds. Go get em!

Also I absolutely refuse to pay any monthly account fees for myself or family. Banks have always waived them. Opened accounts with BNZ and they wanted $5 a month on some accounts. LOL. Never give these parasites a cent more than you need to.

Banks are about to be shut out of the market.

If you hold crypto currency you can earn 12% apy in euro, usd or gbp on multiple platforms, both centralised (like an internet bank) or decentralized (riskier newer technology). These platforms can give loans at 5% interest. Payments are coming, the Swift system is doomed, it's just a matter of time. In a couple of years, all the crypto stuff will be hidden behind easy to use interfaces and banks will struggle to still exist with their high fee models and their ability to hold everyone to ransom.