Media Release: BANK CLOSURES IN RURAL COMMUNITIES SHARPLY FELT

March 1, 2021 1:12 pm

BANK CLOSURES IN RURAL COMMUNITIES SHARPLY FELT

News that Kiwibank is closing seven branches, five with direct impact on rural communities, is disappointing says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“Reductions in services in rural communities is causing a deeper inequity of the provision of those services, compared with urban communities, adding pressures that are just not needed in this current social and economic climate,” says National President, Gill Naylor.

“RWNZ hopes that Kiwibank might use the agency model with other businesses to ensure that banking services continue to be offered in rural centres.

“While we appreciate the need to streamline businesses and one solution is the agency model, there needs to be continued support for people to transact their daily lives in dignity.

“An agency model needs to provide spaces for private, complex discussions – it is not acceptable for people to be discussing their personal banking requirements with staff, while standing in a line of others who just want to pay a bill.

“RWNZ believes that rural communities need services close to where they live – this is particularly important for those where distance and lack of internet connectivity are more sharply felt.

“We would like to see rural proofing carried out before decisions are made to remove or reduce services, this will ensure that rural communities do not continue to miss out,” says Mrs Naylor.

 

ENDS

 

For more information, or to request an interview, please contact Angela McLeod on angela.mcleod@ruralwomennz.nz or 027 497 2761

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