Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is keeping all of its regional branch network open at least until 2022.
In recent years, New Zealand banks have been closing physical branches in regional areas, citing falling patronage and rising costs. BNZ, for its part, previously committed to making no branch closures in its network this year. Now, it is extending that commitment for at least the next three years.
While many day-to-day transactions are now done digitally, BNZ said customers are seeking out its branch teams to help guide them through key moments, including homebuying, setting up KiwiSaver or to help them learn how to use our new digital tools.
“We are very focused on being accessible and available to all our customers,” BNZ chief customer officer Paul Carter said. “Across New Zealand, our branches play an important part in us ‘being there’ for communities and we will continue to support those that we’re established in.
“It’s important to get the balance right between having a physical presence where customers can get great advice as well as the digital tools that support seamless everyday banking. We are committed to doing both,” Carter noted.
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BNZ mentioned a research from Lloyds Bank in the UK, which shows that people who are more digitally savvy tend to be more financially resilient, saving more and making better spending decisions. Carter explained they are on a mission to supprt Kiwis become more digitally skilled, and branches play a key part in making this happen.
As well as in regional branches, BNZ added it would continue its strong presence in the major metro areas and cities.