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Final call: ASB closing in Devonport

Flagstaff Team

By Guy Body

ASB’s Devonport branch will close on Friday 19 March 2021.

However, its ATM machine will remain in place and “we will be adding a Business Deposit Unit and Change Machine to support local businesses,” ASB Executive General Manager Retail Banking Craig Sims said.

“The reality is that customers are increasingly moving to digital and self-service channels, and the pandemic has only accelerated this trend.

“Customer visits to the Devonport branch have declined by almost 40 percent over the past three years,” he said.

No job losses will occur as a result of the closure. The bank leases the building. “Branches will always be part of our customer-service mix at ASB.

“When the branch closes, our Devonport branch people will still be delivering great customer service via our phone, video link and online channels to ASB customers in Devonport and all over New Zealand.

“In fact, we’ve found that by working this way, our people can generally help twice as many customers per day,” Sims said.

WHAT CUSTOMERS THINK

Eliza Sagar, ASB customer for more than 30 years

Why are they closing? It’s very disappointing. They are not focusing on customers and not helping us get through Covid-19.

Laurence Smoothy, lifelong ASB customer

I was going to ASB when it was in the old post-office building in Devonport. It is very upsetting to hear they will be closing.

Richard Joughin, lifelong ASB customer

Having no banks in Devonport will suck, especially for our elderly people. They will have to catch the bus to Takapuna. They should be able to access their money easily.

Laurie Spinley, lifelong ASB customer

I still have my ASB bank book from 1941. It is sad that one of the banks that has been in Devonport the longest is now disappearing too.


Anne Sutton, lifelong ASB customer

It’s going to be hard having to go up to Takapuna to get to the bank. Young people don’t use the banks any more but we do, and we think their service is excellent.


Banking in Devonport

The closure of the ASB Bank next year, will mark the end of 120 years of banks operating branches in Devonport.

A decade ago, all the major banks – except National – had branches in Devonport.

ASB opened in 1901. The Bank of New Zealand ran a branch from 1913 to 2018. ANZ was open from 1951 to 2019, while Westpac was in Victoria Rd from 1991 to 2020, originally setting up as Trust Bank, before it was amalgamated into Westpac.

All the banks cited increasing use of online banking and declining numbers going to branches as the primary reason for closures.


This article originally appeared in the 20 November 2020 edition of the Flagstaff. Read online here.

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