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Riverton ANZ customer Wayne Hill yesterday entered the bank colourfully dressed and holding chains in his hand in a sign of protest, while about 20 people cheered him on.
Two security guards were stationed outside the bank and a senior person from the branch first spoke to Mr Hill before allowing him to enter the bank.
The branch is scheduled to close in early March, although the automated teller machine will remain.
Wendy Lopes, who owns a gallery in the small seaside community, said most of her clients did not use online banking. She said town folk were pensioners.
Resident Rozann Hodge was another resident who was not happy at the closure.
‘‘I am one of the old school. What am I going to do now? ANZ have made their dollars off us and now they leave.’’
Mr Hill said not just Riverton residents would be affected by the bank closure but those from surrounding communities too.
‘‘They can call you out for being a little bit in arrears, but they can’t inform you that they are closing the branch.’’
A statement released by the bank said that monthly transactions at the branch had fallen by 8% over the previous year and that there were 75% fewer transactions at the Riverton branch than at the average ANZ branch.
‘‘Due to declining branch transactions, the difficult decision has been made after consulting with staff to close the ANZ Riverton branch from 8 March, 2019.’’
The one permanent staff member would be transferred to Invercargill.
According to the 2013 census, Riverton had a population of 1431 people.