Banks face problem of getting cash to earthquake-stranded areas video

Kaikoura remains unreachable by road.

Kaikoura remains unreachable by road.

First they were hit by earthquakes - then they were left stranded by closed roads. Now stranded residents in shaken parts of the country could run out of cash.

Some parts of the country are still cut off after the Monday morning quake.

Kaikoura remains unreachable by road, due to massive slips and damage on State Highway 1.

Bankers' Association chief executive Karen Scott-Howman said access to ATMs was potentially a problem for banks.

Bankers' Association chief executive Karen Scott-Howman said access to ATMs was potentially a problem for banks.

NZBA chief executive Karen Scott-Howman said banks were working to re-open their branches in affected areas.

But she said some banks could face problems getting physical cash to their branches.

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"If road access isn't possible, banks may not be able to replenish branch and ATM cash supplies immediately. Banks are monitoring this closely and will look at other ways to get cash in if necessary," she said.

"We'd encourage people to use internet and mobile banking, if possible, to make payments.  For cashless payments customers have the option of debit cards, eftpos cards, credit cards, and possibly also mobile phone payments.  Yesterday's event provides a useful reminder to keep emergency kits up to date. It's a good idea to keep some cash on hand to help you get through an emergency."

She said customers who wanted information about their local branches should refer to bank websites, where the information was being updated.

Kaikoura and much of the the surrounding region is still without landline phone and broadband connections.

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Kaikoura has a Westpac and BNZ branch. A Westpac spokeswoman said it had no concerns about getting cash in to the area. "Our local team will process cash withdrawals for anyone who comes in with the appropriate ID. In addition, for after-hours cash withdrawals, our tech teams are currently working with providers so customers can access the ATM and mobile eftpos."

At 2pm, BNZ's Kaikoura branch was still closed, as well as six in the Wellington region, and one in Motueka. A spokeswoman said the ATM was not working because of damage to the fibre cable.

Westpac's Blenheim branch was closed but the spokeswoman said Kaikoura had just reopened.

Other parts of the country also had limited access to banking facilities: ASB had closures in Masterton, Queensgate, Richmond, Westport and Palmerston North. ANZ had closed its Queensgate and North Lambton Quay branches, as well as its outlet in Motueka.

"All other branches around the country, including those in Wellington's CBD, are open at the discretion of local managers and subject to local conditions and staff availability," ANZ said on its website. "However given the adverse weather, the public transport situation and parking difficulties in the CBD staff have been asked to work from home today unless they need to come in to get equipment."

 - Stuff

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