Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
“Kiwis’ expectations of their bank are changing. In the past five years for example, at ASB we’ve seen a 42% decline in branch transactions, and now 85% of our personal customers prefer the convenience of our online and mobile services. Add to that, since lockdown in March around 13,500 customers have used our digital channels for the first time to do their banking and they’re continuing to do so,” says Sims.
As well as employing more Kiwis, ASB is making changes to its branch network.
Sims says, “Making changes to our branches is never easy. The branches not reopening have experienced very low number of customers using the branch. Some for example serve only 900 customers a year so that’s only two to three a day. There is also a branch nearby for customers to use. Our decision is motivated by a desire to provide a better overall personal experience for customers and our people.
“Our team is an important part of this change and no jobs will be lost as a result of these changes. Team members will have the opportunity to move to another branch or other roles within ASB, supported by training to provide more specialised guidance and advice,” says Sims.
Sims acknowledges the branch closures may be disappointing for some branch users, and he stresses the bank isn’t diminishing ASB’s support for its customers.
“We will still have 109 branches across the country. Also starting today:
We will be proactively calling customers we know who use an impacted branch and letting them know how we will be supporting them through this transition.
The 0800-priority phone line (0800 272 119) established during COVID-19 for our customers 65 years and over, as well as those customers who need extra help will remain in place.
The priority hour between 9am-10am will continue in every branch on the weekdays they are open.
Also, in partnership with Age Concern New Zealand, we will deliver ‘Better Banking workshops’ not only for older customers but for those looking into using mobile and online services for the first time.”
A full list of branches, hours and services is available on our websitehttps://www.asb.co.nz/contact-us/branch-changes.html
The 25 branches opening on reduced hours are located across New Zealand, 19 city branches and six in the provinces.
· We have no current plans to close any more branches. We do however regularly review our branch network to ensure we are providing the best service for our customers, when and where they need it.
Are regional branches next?
· We have no current plans to close regional branches.
Is this a cost saving exercise?
· It is not a cost saving exercise. No jobs will be lost as result of this decision. On the contrary we’re hiring 150 roles to provide specialist guidance and advice to customers. We know this is an uncertain time for our people, customers and the community, and this is why we’re moving to a way of banking that allows us to be more flexible and able to respond to the needs of our customers.
What branches are impacted?
· A full list of the branches and those opening on reduced hours can be found here https://www.asb.co.nz/contact-us/branch-changes.html
Why the delay in reopening the branches?
· We’re currently proactively calling customers on COVID-19 relief packages which are about to end so we can work together on what further support they need. To provide space to have these involved conversations we’re gradually reopening our branches so that we will have a total 109 opened nationwide by 3 August 2020.
What will be the days and reduced hours?
· Three days a week from 9am- 4.30pm. Monday, Tuesday and Friday. On the days the branch isn’t open the team will be helping customers online, over the phone or at busier branches.
How else can customers get help?
· Our ASB Contact Centre is available from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 5pm on weekends, with the ASB priority line for customers aged 65+ years open the same hours as the Contact Centre.
· Our ASB Contact Centre number is 0800 803 804, and our ASB priority line number is 0800 272 119