Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Bank undergoes extreme makeover

Project co-ordinator Fiona Terry says the bank used customer feedback for changes. Photo / Dean Purcell
Project co-ordinator Fiona Terry says the bank used customer feedback for changes. Photo / Dean Purcell

Secure safes at teller stations to increase security, a new intelligent ATM and a "live wall" of 15 55-inch television screens showing a digital panorama for waiting customers are some of the features of the ANZ's biggest branch makeover.

Fiona Terry, ANZ branch optimisation project co-ordinator, said millions of dollars were spent on 205 Queen St opposite Whitcoulls, the bank's highest-profile branch on the Queen St/Victoria St corner.

The safes at teller stations deposit cash immediately and tellers access them via a top-loading money counter. That immediately reduces the amount of cash on hand with any teller, increasing security, Terry said.

"Cash recycling units are like a mini safe/ATM that counts and secures cash as it is deposited," she said.

Intelligent ATMs deposit cash and give customers an image of a cheque being banked.

The digital wall shows the branch makeover and the plans for the scheme, ANZ marketing and advertising, images of the first full day of trading last Monday and scenic Auckland panoramas.

Terry said the job was difficult because reconstruction had to be carried out while the branch remained opened and fully operating, so parts of the areas were screened off. A new ground floor had to be built so building owner Kiwi Income Property Trust had contributed to the changes, and the ground floor layout was reconfigured.

"We did a lot of research around what customers like and don't like and there's nothing worse than when you're standing in a queue and you can see bank staff who aren't helping you. The people at those desks may be selling a mortgage or doing paper work," she said.

That annoyance factor was dealt to by shifting branch office staff to a back-of-house area, away from customer gaze.

The teller lineup was also brought forward to create more room for those offices.

The branch is ANZ's biggest and busiest out of about 250 nationally. All branches are being upgraded in a job Terry said was about 80 per cent completed.

Most of the National Bank green has gone and ANZ blue now dominates.

"The aim of the branch redesign is to pull together the best of the two brands," she said, noting the secure-entry door from the National times remained.

Asian and Korean banking, business banking and migrant business banking are upstairs on mezzanine level and first-floor levels, festooned with Chinese red lanterns. Existing office furniture and fittings got a makeover with new wood facades.

Terry said the new rear projection media screen showing images on the Queen St window was more of a feature at night.

Internet banking kiosks, free wi-fi and experts in internet banking and mobile phone banking are also in the branch where 104 people work.

ANZ. 205 Queen Street

1300

customers daily.

3224

sq m of banking chamber, meeting rooms, mezzanine and level one.

6

months of building work.

- NZ Herald

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