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BNZ chief customer officer Paul Carter said Covid-19 said the closures came as customer demand for digital services accelerated and customers increasingly opted for increased flexibility and remote working.
"Covid-19 has accelerated trends we’ve been seeing for some time."
The majority of its customers were banking online and its "talented bankers are often waiting in empty branches for customers that simply do not arrive".
The closure of 38 branches are staged and begin on Christmas Eve and end in June next year.
Mr Carter said historical ways of banking like cash and cheque transactions had fallen significantly.
"Branches will still have a role in how we serve our customers.
"We will continue to invest in modern Customer Centres to help customers take advantage of online banking and our digital tools, and where they can access specialist services.
"We recently opened a new branch in Commercial Bay and our new Whakatipu Customer Centre opened this month in Queenstown."
Mr Carter said changes to its branch network were part of a wider review of all BNZ locations to consolidate its workforce.
"We’ve given ourselves a long runway before closing our regional branches so we can support the small number of customers that regularly use these locations to adopt alternative ways of banking."
Metro branches to close on December 24, 2020 (8 branches)
- Courtenay Place
- Mount Maunganui
Branches closing between February – March 2021 (14 branches)
- St Heliers
Branches closing between April –June 2021 (16 branches)
- Hanmer Springs
- Te Aroha