ASB is set to close four bank branches in Auckland by the end of February, and its Willis St branch in Wellington will remain permanently closed. This strategic move by the bank is driven by the evolving behaviors of its customers.

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The Auckland branches undergoing closure are Milford, Wellsford, Waiuku, and Mangere Bridge. ASB’s Executive General Manager of Personal Banking, Adam Boyd, explained that the bank is redirecting its focus to digital and phone banking, aligning with the increasing demand in these areas. To accommodate this shift, additional staff will be deployed to busier branches such as Albany, Takapuna, Pukekohe, Warkworth, and Lambton Quay.

Boyd highlighted the decline in customer visits to the closing branches over the past four years, with some experiencing substantial drops in transactions. Milford, for instance, saw an 83% decrease in branch counter transactions between 2019 and 2023. Wellsford, Waiuku, Mangere Bridge, and Willis St also reported significant declines ranging from 89% to 92%.

Recognizing the impact on customers who still frequent these branches, Boyd assured the bank’s commitment to supporting them during the transition. ASB plans to reach out to regular branch users to inform them of the changes and provide assistance through the transition process. The bank’s business banking and community banking teams will be physically present in these branches to offer on-the-ground support. Specialized support, including workshops in collaboration with Age Concern, will be provided to customers who may require extra assistance.

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Despite the closures, ASB will maintain a network of 80 branches across the country. Boyd emphasized the bank’s substantial investment in digital banking channels over the next five years, with a focus on enhancing its mobile app. Additionally, affected staff members will be offered alternative positions within ASB.