Bank closures – who uses them?

Westpac has just confirmed they are closing 19 rural and small branch banks.

This is bad news for people who still rely on physical banks, and especially for towns who will be left with no banks, like Ranfurly which is an hour’s drive from the next nearest banks.

But keeping the number of branches open must be a challenge for banks.

Who actually goes to a bank these days? Some businesses like shops must still deal with some cash, so it will be a nuisance for them.

But I can’t remember how many years ago I last visited a bank, apart from withdrawing cash from an ATM, and even that isn’t often these days.

How we use money and banks has changed dramatically over the past half century.

It reminds me of something that happened to me a bit less than half a century ago. I had a job that involved servicing teller machines. I arrived in a small rural town late morning to service their machine, but discovered that they closed for lunch.

We worked out a solution – they locked me inside the bank while they went for lunch and I finished my work uninterrupted until they returned and let me out.

My brother used to work for a bank. He moved to Dunedin with that job, and was rostered to work at the Port Chalmers Branch that was only open for a few hours a day or two a week. He travelled between branches by bus carrying the money in a suitcase. Passengers knew he was the bank guy and would joke about mugging him but things were a lot different back then.

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22 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  21st September 2016

    ANZ in Paihia is closing which means my closest bank will be Kerikeri, about 50 minutes away. Deposits and validating cards have been my main reasons for visiting a bank these days.

    Reply
  2. Times change, like you I very rarely go to the bank rather they come to me.
    The people complaining are the same type who would have ensured that there was full employment for buggy whip makers to this day.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  21st September 2016

      Do you have any positive advice for those in Ranfurly who do think they need a bank? (Besides putting their buggy whips away.)

      Reply
      • Adapt like others do who don’t live anywhere near banks, like people from Middlemarch and Naseby and St Bathans and Oturehua.

        And farmers from around the country.

        There’s not other choice.

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  21st September 2016

          I realise there’s no other choice and of course the communities will adapt and survive with a bit of creativity. There are probably more in Ranfurly to help each other come up with solutions than in St Bathans. No doubt wherever they live or the size of their communities they’ll enjoy the announcements from Westpac next year and the year after of their staggering record profits.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  21st September 2016

            Banks cannot justify keeping branches open when they are not making enough to cover costs. In Ngaruawahia, usage has dropped about 70%, according to the Waikato Times.

            Banks have to make a profit like any other business-would you want to see a return to the ‘good old days’ when banks went bust and the customers lost all their money ?

            Reply
            • duperez

               /  21st September 2016

              “No” to the last bit and for years I’ve said that banks aren’t a social service but a business. They exist only to make money for whoever owns them. The fact they provide a service is incidental.
              ANZ is right to close it’s Ngaruawahia branch. Its half-year profit for the six months to March 31 was down 13 per cent. At that rate its annual profit is likely to only just get to $1.5 billion and it’s group profit might not make it to $8 billion.
              I would hate for a few Ngaruawahia dinosaurs to put those at risk.

            • Blazer

               /  22nd September 2016

              ‘you want to see a return to the ‘good old days’ when banks went bust’…yes…I sure would.They are nothing but parasites.

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  21st September 2016

    I have used a bank several times in the time since my husband died, but as that was to do with things related to the death, I can’t really count those. I can’t remember when I last visited a bank to do any ordinary transactions. I use ATMs and online banking.

    Depositing money will indeed be a hassle. I foresee a brisk trade in safes.

    Eftpos will become more and more used in those towns. I find that this saves me money as (of course, stating the obvious here) I am only spending that exact amount, rather than having to take more than I need from an ATM. ANZ ATMs are a pain in the bum. $50 notes are a real nuisance.

    People will have to move into the c,21. Paper money and cheques were treated with great suspicion and disliked by the people for whom the only real money was gold and silver. The story goes that a bank official was held up as he went to Scotland with what was known to be the bank’s money, only to have the bag of paper thrown back at him by the robbers who obviously didn’t realise that a cheque or a bank note was as good as ‘real’ money.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  21st September 2016

      The phantom downticker strikes again.

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  21st September 2016

        And I’m pretty certain that by acknowledging their efforts (or lack of effort) Kitty, you let him/her know that they have succeeded in annoying you… I’m going to give you another, just because I can 😀

        Reply
  4. If there is a demand for bricks and mortar branches then someone will take on the opportunity.

    In Wainuiomata the WBC closure means one Bank left with a proper branch and that is ANZ. Postshop and Kiwibank have a franchise operating out of a local dvd hire shop….

    The way of the future – electronic wallets on your mobile, internet banking.

    Sad in some ways but in others not so much.

    Biggest question is where can you deposit all your spare coins when the jar is overflowing!

    Reply
    • And in the Nui there is also a Credit Union with a shopfront forgot about them…

      Reply
    • What spare coins?

      Reply
      • I’ve a couple of hundy in spare coins – ATM’s dispense $20’s – a common purchase is 4-6 dollars therefore coins in pocket. go home coins out of pocket into jar….easy as …

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  21st September 2016

        Which Nui ? Wanga, Taumara or Tutae ?

        Who goes to the PO much now ? The last time I was in one, there was someone there with a Contact energy bill, willing to pay the entire amount of it for the sake of going to town and going to the bank rather than doing it online and saving 22%. I spend about 3 minutes paying my bills online. Log on-look at the accounts-pay the bills-log off. And save hundreds by doing so.

        If PO and Kiwibank have franchises, that could be the solution. But who would be willing to START using banks again so that one will stay open ? Not me. I’m afraid.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  21st September 2016

          My change goes into a piggybank for Fred Hollows. If anyone leaves change around in this house, it is put in there, too. $25 will remove some blind person’s cataracts.

          Reply
        • Nelly Smickers

           /  21st September 2016

          Yet you’re the *same person* willing to stand in line for half an hour to get a *Free Coffee Card* stamped.

          Go figure……. LOL ❗

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  21st September 2016

            Don’t be more ridiculous than you can help being. You are making a fool of yourself with this repetitive inanity.

            I don’t know why you have this obsession with me and my supposed use of coffee cards, but it’s growing old and tired. Please drop it. It’s unfunny, it is boring and it’s childish. It’s untrue, unamusing and uninteresting.

            Who knows where your odd and confused mind found this idea ? Or where you got your odd ideas about coffee bars ? Anyone who uses one has to stand in line if there is one, it’s considered very rude and ignorant to barge to the front of a queue. It may be what you and Wayne do on the rare occasion when you go out to a cafe or restaurant, but it’s not what the rest of the world does.

            I have yet to see a cafe where customers stand in line for half an hour.

            Please stop being so childish. Repeating something over and over doesn’t make it true if it’s a lie or funny if it’s witless.

            Reply

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