Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

ANZ Bank closure backlash makes no difference

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SHUTTING: ANZ branch in Greerton is set to close next month. Photo/John Borren.
SHUTTING: ANZ branch in Greerton is set to close next month. Photo/John Borren.

A huge outpouring of support for the ANZ branch in Greerton to remain open is "unfortunately" not going to make a difference, a senior ANZ official says.

The Greerton ANZ branch will close on September 14 as more people transition to online banking. But the move has upset many local residents urging the bank to reconsider.

Dozens of people have posted comments on the Bay of Plenty Times Facebook page, including some advising customers to change to one of the other banks in Greerton.

In her post Jen Hynds wrote that she could not understand ANZ's decision as the bank was "always full of customers".

ANZ external communications senior manager Stefan Herrick said the Greerton branch would shut because the number of customers visiting had been steadily decreasing.

"The average ANZ customer uses mobile banking one to two times a day, and visits a branch only two times a year."

"We have certainly read the Facebook posts and seen all the other reaction coverage but unfortunately the bank's position is not going to change."

Mr Herrick said he sympathised with older customers who do not currently do internet banking, but the bank also had phone banking facilities.

"Obviously we hope customers will stay with us as we do value them. Unfortunately the reality is that the amount of customers visiting the branch has been steadily declining as more people move to bank online," he said.

A new branch at Tauranga Crossing would open on September 15 employing 13 retail staff and four business banking specialists.

Mr Herrick said if anyone wanted help setting up their internet banking or learning how to do phone banking, branch staff would be happy to show them.

Tauranga Grey Power president Jennifer Custins said clearly the closure was a commercial decision to save money which ANZ was perfectly entitled to do.

Mrs Custins said the closure would have a significant impact on some of the area's elderly as not everyone could walk or hop a bus to Tauriko, and online banking or phone banking would not suit everyone's needs.

"It's really quite challenging for some of our older generation, and this make life more difficult. I have no doubt that some customers will opt to change banks," she said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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