Local bank jobs safe, says branch manager

By Erika Venter

There will be no jobs lost in Stratford due to the merger of ANZ and National Bank, says Brendon Gernhoefer, who started as manager this month.

The two branches will merge early next year, to operate from where ANZ is. Brendon says the National Bank building is likely to be sold and that he has already received enquiries on the availability of the property.

The ANZ premises will be refurbished to make room for more tellers, but Brendon says for clients it will be business as usual.

It does not matter whether you are an ANZ or a National Bank client, you can go to either branch at the moment. Following the merger, everyone keeps their accounts as is; it will all just be under one umbrella.

He says the bank won't cut back on its community involvement.

There is a big push for that. I will make sure that Stratford and the wider community are part of it. We want to have a big local presence.

Brendon says he is a local bloke, born and bred in Stratford and that this is 'his community.

Apart from two years in England (on his OE), I have always been in Taranaki.

He is director of Noir Hair and Day Spa in Stratford, together with his partner Kim Walsh, and they live in Stratford with their children, McKenna (4), Molly (6) and Elliott (8). He plays soccer for the Eltham club and cricket for Stratford.

Straight after finishing school at Stratford High he worked at Mitre 10 for seven years and then went to England for an OE.

He says when coming back to New Zealand he did not have his future mapped out and applied for a role available at the time, at TSB in New Plymouth.

It just snowballed from there.

From TSB he went to National Bank, where he started as a teller, then moved from banking consultant for personal loans, to home loans and then business banking. He was business bank manager for two years before taking up his current position.

I love the banking industry. I have made so many friends and met so many good people.

It is rewarding as well, helping people into their first home or business you help fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

- Stratford Press

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