ASB customers are demanding to know when their local branches will reopen after shutting during higher alert levels but a bank chief is asking them to be patient, go online or call the 0800 number.
Customers in many areas including Birkenhead, Dargaville, Lincoln, Onehunga and Mangere Bridge have taken to social media to vent their frustrations about their local ASB staying shut, despite New Zealand moving to lower alert levels.
Others wanted to know if opening for reduced hours between 10am and 2pm would be extended, saying it was highly inconvenient to be offered only four hours a day.
"I would like an answer about the Birkenhead," one said.
Another wrote: "When's the ASB in Mangere Bridge and Onehunga going to open please?"
Others complained about fewer ATMs, asked when Howick would reopen and said it was a struggle to have lost Pakuranga and now a struggle to get to Botany or Sylvia Park.
Craig Sims, retail banking executive general manager, said today branches were gradually reopening.
"Our branch teams are currently dealing with the mammoth task of proactively contacting 14,000 customers who are depending on us for urgent advice and guidance, as their current support packages are due to come to an end.
"As you'll appreciate, these conversations are complex and time-consuming because we want to get it right for each individual customer who has been affected by Covid-19, through no fault of their own," Sims said.
Small businesses in US struggle as promised loans dry up
Fieldays Online: Meet the man who's never missed a Fieldays
He indicated more patience was required while the business coped with the huge amount of work involved.
"We're hoping the community will appreciate the good intentions behind our decision, especially when a lot of branch banking needs are able to be done through self-service channels or at other nearby branches. We understand our decision may lead to some frustration but it is well-intended, and we genuinely thank the community for their patience and ongoing feedback," Sims said.
Customers could go online, send a secure message, download the mobile application for service or call 0800 803 804, it said.
ASB also had a priority line for customers aged 65-plus years: 0800 272 119.
ASB's most recent annual profit reported was for the June 30 2019 year. That was the ninth record profit in a row. It made $1.275 billion for the year, bolstered by a one-off gain from the sale of its share of Paymark which netted it $46m.
The Herald reported last year on how New Zealand banks collectively cut 44 branches from their networks lately, with all the major banks making cutbacks.
Figures from KPMG's FIPS Banking report show the total number of bank branches in New Zealand fell from 1024 to 980 between 2017 and 2018.
ANZ - the country's largest bank by assets - made the biggest reduction, cutting its branch numbers by 12 to 179, while Kiwibank, which has the largest branch network, reduced its number by nine to 244.
Westpac reduced its number by eight, BNZ seven and ASB two branches in 2018.
The five biggest banks spent a collective $117 million on advertising last year - a 69 per cent jump on 2017. Figures from Nielsen put that growth in spending by the banking sector at the top of the big-spending advertisers followed by adspend on travel and mobile phones.
Tony Boyte, executive director at Nielsen Media, said the increase across the five big banks - ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Westpac and Kiwibank - was significant.