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Hub Banks Will Not Close Regional Branches For Rest Of 2021

The six banks participating in the Regional Banking Hubs trial are renewing their commitment to not close regional branches until the end of the year, when the trial concludes.

The September 2019 announcement of the hubs pilot included a voluntary commitment to not close regional branches for the period of the trial. The full commitment was in place for 15 months but was suspended in January this year because of the significant impact of Covid-19 on customer behaviour and the hubs launch timeframe.

The renewed commitment is the same as before – it will not include branches within the city council boundaries of the six main urban centres of Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. It does not include already announced consultations and closures and only applies to the six banks (ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB and Westpac). It does not include NZ Post/Kiwibank co-locations or earthquake strengthening, health and safety, or lease expiry.

Any commercial decisions about whether or not to close any branch that falls outside the commitment will be made solely by the relevant bank at its discretion.

The commitment comes into force today. It follows constructive discussions with the Minister of Finance’s office.

“The six banks are pleased with community interest in the trial, although it is too early to get a clear picture of the data,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont.

“The banks are also listening to feedback and working on potential enhancements, such as cash floats for businesses.

“In the meantime, NZBA will explore the best framework for the hubs to be able to move ahead if the trial is successful.”

For more information about the Regional Banking Hubs trial please see: https://www.nzba.org.nz/consumer-information/regional-banking-hubs/regional-banking-hubs-pilot/

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