Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Banks hire more staff to satisfy customers

Banks hire more staff to satisfy customers

Banks have got the message that although customers may be “going electronic” , they still like dealing with people, KPMG’s annual banking and finance survey finds.

Releasing the 18th annual KPMG Financial Institutions Performance Survey, the firm’s Banking and Finance Group Chairman, Andrew Dinsdale said the survey records the first significant increase in the number of bank employees in a number of years.

Mr Dinsdale said staff employed by the registered banks grew by almost 4 percent or 840 people during the year. And the increase wasn’t entirely attributable to the expansion of Kiwibank which last year reversed the decline in bank branch numbers.

“The majority of this growth is attributable to the major banks and Kiwibank. ASB Bank, which prides itself on its levels of customer service, led the way with an increase of 211 employees over 2002.

“This is due to the general growth in the bank’s business. Employees have been added across most business units. ANZ’s increase in headcount stems from an increase in front line staff numbers within the branches as the bank continues to focus on customer satisfaction.

“I think we can say with some certainty that banks have got the message that customers like to be able to deal with real people when they carrying out their banking transactions.”

Kiwibank increased staff by just over 100 while all the major banks recorded increases, the smallest being Westpac with 57.

“This year, we have seen further growth in branch numbers and the extension of operating hours to include weekends as banks align their opening hours with the general retail community, especially where branches are situated in shopping malls.”

Mr Dinsdale said New Zealand continues to be a leader globally in the penetration of electronic banking as the country evolves towards a cash-less society. He said that of all payments made in 2003, 88 percent were made by electronic means.

“Banks place great importance on the performance of their technology and invest substantial amounts of time and money in order to stay at the cutting edge.”

EFTPOS remains the most popular method of payment. The number and value of transactions continues to expand. In 2003, the total number of transactions increased by almost 15 percent, reaching 670 million. The total value of the transactions was $36.3 billion.

“Interestingly, there has been an 11 percent decline in the number of credit cards on issue, although no slow-down in transaction activity. The decline is likely to reflect the fact that people are holding fewer cards but banks are allowing customers higher limits.”

Mr Dinsdale said cheques now represent only 12 percent of all transaction methods, a remarkable decline given that as late as 1997 they were the preferred transaction method.

“It seems only a matter of time before cheques find themselves watching the banking sector from the stands, reminiscing about the days when they were the major players,” he said.

The survey notes that the University of Auckland survey records 60 percent of internet users have signed up for internet banking, up from 49 percent in 2002. It records the major frustration within the industry being security issues around internet banking, with customers of a number of banks being the target of attempts to secure account details and passwords.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news