ASB to permanently close Christchurch branch

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
ASB is to permanently close nine branches - including one in Christchurch - and reduce the hours of 25 others to three days a week as it shifts its focus to helping customers online and over the phone.

The bank will retain all its branch staff and will hire more people to help fill more than 150 new roles to provide specialist guidance and advice to customers.

Craig Sims, general manager retail banking at the ASB, said changes were being made as a result of the ongoing move to digital banking as well as growth in customers using its digital channels during the Covid-19 lockdown.

"Kiwis' expectations of their bank are changing. In the past five years for example, at ASB we've seen a 42 per cent decline in branch transactions, and now 85 per cent of our personal customers prefer the convenience of our online and mobile services. Add to that, since lockdown in March around 13,500 customers have used our digital channels for the first time to do their banking and they're continuing to do so."

The nine branches closing permanently are Barrington, Mosgiel, Auckland Hospital, Parnell, Ellerslie, Mt Albert, Ronwood Avenue, Waikato Uni and Papamoa. 

These branches have been shut since the March 26 lockdown.

From August 3, 25 other branches will permanently move to opening three days a week on Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9am to 4.30pm. This will include the Ferrymead branch on Ferry Rd in Christchurch.

Sims said the branches that were closing had very low customer numbers.

"Some, for example, serve only 900 customers a year so that's only two to three a day. There is also a branch nearby for customers to use. Our decision is motivated by a desire to provide a better overall personal experience for customers and our people. "

"Our team is an important part of this change and no jobs will be lost as a result of these changes. Team members will have the opportunity to move to another branch or other roles within ASB, supported by training to provide more specialised guidance and advice," Sims said.

It will have a total of 109 branches across the country.

Sims said staff of those branches with reduced hours would work in the branch three days a week and would continue working the other two days responding to customers.






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