Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Banks polish up premises

Record profits give major lenders chance to do up buildings to better attract custom.

The ANZ centre on the corner of Albert and Swanson streets is being refurbished. Photo / Supplied
The ANZ centre on the corner of Albert and Swanson streets is being refurbished. Photo / Supplied

A $500 million-plus upgrade and expansion of the country's four major trading banks' premises is in full swing.

Better premises are being created for ASB, ANZ, Westpac and BNZ staff and customers as the banks, fresh from making almost $3.5 billion for 2011/12, compete for more business.

Fletcher Construction is nearing completion of ASB's $132.1 million North Wharf headquarters in Auckland, owned by Kiwi Income Property Trust and to be leased by the bank.

ANZ has revealed a $170 million office upgrade in Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga and regional centres in the next four years, on top of the $100 million it has already committed to a branch upgrade, after Westpac's Queen St store took on a beach-style theme in the past few weeks.

ANZ New Zealand chief operating officer Craig Sims said the bank was working closely with NZX listed Precinct Properties on the upgrade of Auckland's ANZ Centre on the corner of Albert St and Swanson St.

In Wellington, the bank will leave nine buildings and move into four, signing a new lease for 171 Featherston St which was HP Tower. That will become ANZ Centre Wellington and be refitted. ANZ has leased a Tory St building and next month, it will begin moving about 1200 support service staff from the contact centre, collections, recoveries, banking operations and Eftpos teams.

In Tauranga, the bank has leased a building at 247 Cameron Rd and staff will move next March.

Sims said ANZ would be upgrading its property portfolio in other centres in the next four years but further details are yet to be finalised. New ANZ branches have opened in Glenfield Mall, Royal Oak, Manukau, The Base in Hamilton, Grey Lynn, Takanini and Silverdale and a new Rotorua branch will open next April.

Sims said the bank wanted to have New Zealand's biggest branch network.

"Over the next two years, we'll increase our branch presence from 75 per cent of where New Zealanders live to almost 90 per cent, with 15 new communities getting new branches," Sims said.

Westpac is changing the interior of 50 larger branches but has not revealed how much it is spending.

Two years ago, the BNZ announced a national branch facelift worth about $100 million. It said then it would refurbish half of its 179 branches and relocate the rest.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 21 Dec 2014 17:31:12 Processing Time: 458ms