Credit Union South has confirmed the closure of its last West Coast branch, in Greymouth, from the end of the month.
Credit Union Westland started out in Hokitika to service Seaview Hospital staff, and later opened a branch in Greymouth and downtown Hokitika.
Now merged with Credit Union South, based in Dunedin, the Hokitika branch closed several years ago and today it confirmed a restructure in the face of the growing use of on-line banking and because of the small membership numbers at five other branches, including Greymouth.
Timaru, Oamaru, Hornby and Gore will also close. Eighteen jobs will be lost through the closures, including three in Greymouth.
Credit Union will also 'disestablish' its Money Coaching service and some customer service roles in Nelson and Dunedin, and plans to consolidate its two Christchurch branches. The Hornby branch will close at the conclusion of its lease, in May. All other branch closures, including Greymouth, will be on March 31.
The closed branches will be replaced by ATMs in Greymouth, Hornby, Timaru, Oamaru and Gore.
Credit Union South chief executive Tania Dickie said the banking service had been affected by the growing use of internet banking, which meant "much reduced activity" in its branches.
"This is a difficult situation for us all and I want to pay tribute to our staff for their outstanding work over the years.
"Wherever possible we will try to find positions for staff in new customer services roles being created in Dunedin, Christchurch and Invercargill."
Credit Union South, trading as NZCU South, is a 100 per cent New Zealand-owned financial co-operative and is the third largest credit union in the country.
- Greymouth Star