Face-to-face banking opportunities in Te Anau are again under review, with the BNZ considering shortening its opening hours in the town from later this month.
Advocate South this week learned that BNZ was looking at "optimising store hours" in Te Anau to 9am till 2pm Monday to Friday "due to take effect" on June 19.
BNZ retail regional manager Robyn McKinnel confirmed yesterday that the bank was in consultation with its team in Te Anau about a proposal to reduce the store hours.
"We understand that any potential change is unsettling for the community and we are trying to balance that with our need to consult with staff first," she said.
"This is a genuine consultation. There is no decision made yet. We will communicate with our customers as and when there is an outcome, if any change is made."
In earlier correspondence, she confirmed that communication would take the form of letters to customers, phone calls to frequent business users, ATM messages and posters and electronic notices in store.
Nationwide there have been reports of around a dozen BNZ branches that have already reduced their hours or are consulting to do so.
From June 6, the BNZ Winton will reduce its opening hours to 1pm till 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
An increase in the popularity of electronic banking has been cited as the reason behind the changes, with the BNZ telling Advocate South last week that 86% of its transactions were now made using digital channels.
Te Anau rallied last year when the Westpac Bank announced a proposal to close its Te Anau branch; however, the closure still went ahead in November and many of Westpac's Te Anau clients moved their business to the BNZ as a result.
The only other bank with a branch presence in Te Anau is Kiwibank, which operates through the NZ Post Shop at Paper Plus.