Two Tauranga communities will be "bankless" come Christmas as their last major banks close their doors.
The Bank of New Zealand will close its Mount Maunganui and Greerton branches before Christmas.
They are among 32 BNZ branches closing over the course of next year - breaking a promise the bank made not to close any more regional branches until 2022.
The Katikati branch will also be closing in March next year, meaning residents will have to travel to Tauranga for their closest branch.
The bank says each location will keep a Smart ATM for withdrawals, deposits and transfers.
Greerton Village Community Association manager Sally Benning said the closure of the "last surviving bank" was disappointing for the village.
She believed many people had changed to BNZ when Westpac left the village at the end of last year, because it suited the retail needs of Greerton business people.
"It's a real pain because we have a lot of small businesses here, like one or two-man bands, so they don't have the luxury of getting in a car and driving out of Greerton to go to a bank.
"It's just going to be something they will have to do in their own time."
Benning could not see why the "virtually always busy" bank needed to close.
Greerton Lotto owner Belinda Sands is a Westpac customer and had been wondering if she would change to BNZ for convenience, but "this has made my mind up".
She said the hardest element for businesses was having change.
"I get asked for change from customers and I guess you just have to have a little bit spare. But I'm resigned to the fact that this would happen, I'm not sure if Covid made it worse but it was coming."
Mount Business Association chairman Grant Aislabie suspects the closure will impact the community, but "we will get over it" as it had after ASB and ANZ left the main street.
"It was inevitable that it would disappear from here.
"The banks don't want people, they want you to do everything online is clearly where they are heading.
"As much as we stamp our feet they are not going to listen to us, we are only their customers."
Aislabie said even though the Mount CBD would be "bankless" he believed people would move on quickly as they were used to banks leaving.
"And if they had all done what they said they were going to do, and flock to the remaining bank, then it wouldn't be leaving."
Age Concern general manager Tanya Smith feared for those in the community who were not able to venture the extra distances when the branches had closed.
"I do have concerns for those that struggle with physical ailments getting to and from a shopping mall and not having somebody able to assist them to get there.
"It would be nice to see 'mobile banking' where they could go to the people's homes that are needing assistance because for many with hearing problems it is very difficult to hear the automated message on the phone."
It was important those with concerns reached out to someone or an organisation, Smith said.
"There's always a solution in some way, shape or form."
Greerton retiree Gwenyth Jones told the Bay of Plenty Times there were members of the community who could not cope with the changes or the drive to the new destination.
The 84-year-old said she was one of the lucky ones, because she was still driving, but many would not dare to tackle the busy road to Tauranga Crossing.
"They've now got to get the bus, but it stops miles away from anything.
"It is really hard on the elderly and Greerton has so many elderly, you would have thought there would be a little consideration."
Bruce Cartwright, another Greerton retiree, banks with BNZ but said he did not know of the closure prior to speaking to the Bay of Plenty Times.
"It's not good having no bank at all in a community like Greerton, it's quite a busy little centre.
"I'm well and truly retired and we don't get around as easy as we used to and we don't really want to go further for our banking as it were, or anything else for that matter. It's quite a nuisance."
BNZ chief customer officer Paul Carter said the bank had not made the decision to close branches around New Zealand lightly and said the previous commitment was made in "good faith" to regional branches.
"Not only was it a commitment to the communities we serve, but it was also a commitment to our people, as closing a branch used to mean losing jobs."
However, Covid-19 changed everything with customers "embracing" digital services and bankers serving customers irrespective of where they were, he said.
It means the closures will not result in job losses.
BNZ will have around 100 branches and partner centres open after the closures.
Carter said changes to its branch network were part of a wider review of all BNZ locations to consolidate its workforce, but historical ways of banking like cash and cheque transactions had also fallen significantly.
"Covid-19 has accelerated trends we've been seeing for some time. Around three-quarters of our customers are digitally active and they are increasingly choosing to do their banking this way, or over the phone."