Waikanae is one of 19 branches in NZ that the trans-Tasman bank has listed as facing closure in the near future.  A decision is to be be made in October, according to the news report.

The bank says, “Currently, more than 85% of service transactions with us take place outside of a branch. In addition, over the last five years, online transactions increased by 61% and in the last year online logins via a mobile device have increased by 33%.”

It says these changes have seen more than 20 Smart ATMs added over the past two years to provide 24/7 services.

However, this overlooks the fact that branches in places with higher than average elderly populations such as Waikanae look after many customers who are not tech-savvy and don’t do internet banking. Of course, they usually don’t have mortgages or business loans either —  so if they don’t generate that lucrative business, the bank probably sees no need to bother with them.

We can’t really say more than while it is the inevitable long term trend, it’s sad.