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BNZ set to close branch in Invercargill

For immediate release
Friday 12 December 2008

BNZ set to close branch in Invercargill
Reduction in customer service inevitable

The BNZ is proposing to close its Dee Street branch in Invercargill; a move that bank workers’ union Finsec says is unnecessary and will result in decreased customer service.

“This is the second branch the BNZ is proposing to close in the South Island this year. We have also seen staff reductions in the Balclutha branch. We believe the BNZ is prioritising its massive profit over providing high quality face to face banking services in Invercargill,”said Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell

“The staff at the Dee Street branch provide a high level of service to the many loyal customers who bank there. One member of staff just received an Invercargill Rotary award for Excellence and Service in the workplace. BNZ should recognise the unique service role the branch plays and keep it open,” said Campbell.

“The BNZ recently announced an annual profit of $657 million dollars, up 9% on the previous year. The bank can easily afford to keep Dee Street open and continue to provide convenient service to local customers and businesses,” said Campbell.

“The BNZ enjoys the security of being underwritten by the taxpayer through the deposit guarantee scheme. And how are they repaying the taxpayers? By cutting service to local communities through closing branches,” said Campbell.

“The bank has put up a pretty flimsy case for closing Dee Street and only having one branch in the city. That’s not a lot. Westpac has four branches in the city. They’ve provided little justification for closing a great community resource,”Said Campbell.

“We call on the BNZ to commit to keeping two branches open to serve the people of Invercargill. We also call on them to maintain or increase total staffing numbers in the city,” said Campbell.

ENDS

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