Banks are encouraging their customers to bank from home if possible as some of their branches begin to reopen on restricted hours during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In Whanganui, BNZ, Kiwibank, ASB and ANZ branches will all be open once a week for up to four hours.

Westpac and The Co-operative Bank will not be opening their local branches but will still be operating online and over the phone.

For those in the priority group who are being advised by the government to stay at home, some banks have systems in place to help them.

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BNZ has announced they will support customers over the age of 70 with a dedicated phone support team offering shorter wait times.

For those who cannot access internet or telephone services, the BNZ Victoria Avenue branch will be open for basic baking services on Thursday's from 10am to 2pm.

BZN said the branches were for customers who must see someone in person.

Kiwibank communications manager Kara Tait said it did not want to encourage those who are most vulnerable to visit its branches.

She hoped that the DORA [Digital On-Road Access] wifi-enabled bus which provided free online banking classes to 362 participants across the Whanganui region last September would be able to help those most vulnerable in the current situation.

"Hopefully those customers we've worked with to get tech-savvy and confident online are able to do all their banking in the safety of their own home," Tait said.

Kiwibank hopes the free online banking classes they hosted through the DORA [Digital On-Road Access] bus last September will help their older customers at this time. Photo / Bevan Conley
Kiwibank hopes the free online banking classes they hosted through the DORA [Digital On-Road Access] bus last September will help their older customers at this time. Photo / Bevan Conley

Those who do not have access to internet banking are able to call the KiwiBank call centre fee-free.

Whanganui's Kiwibank branch will be open on Wednesday's from 10am to 1pm.

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ASB said it was essential for the safety of staff and customers that visits to the branch are limited to critical banking needs during the lockdown period.

The Whanganui ASB branch will be open on Thursday's from 10am to 2pm.

ANZ NZ managing director of retail and business banking, Ben Kelleher, said it would prioritise vulnerable customers during this time.

"We opened 61 branches for the first time during lockdown on Wednesday and it was great to see members of the community offering our older customers spots at the beginning of the queue, before we even asked, so they weren't waiting for long," he said.

ANZ's Whanganui branch will be open from 9am to 12pm on Wednesday's.

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A Westpac NZ spokesman said it understood the difficulties of customers who are limited or have no access to technology at home.

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"Work is underway in our contact centre to prioritise calls from our older customers and reduce their waiting times."

Jessica Wallace, marketing communications manager for The Co-Operative Bank said they are not opening any of their branches as the safety and wellbeing of their customers is a priority.

For those who cannot do their banking through ATMs, phones or online banking they ask that customers call their local branch.

"We will try to provide assistance over the phone first, and can make an appointment to come and see us if needed."

href='https://covid19.govt.nz/' target='_blank'>Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website