Credit union cuts offices, jobs

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 13:28 10/08/2012
NZCU building
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
DOWNSIZING: The Invercargill Kelvin St New Zealand Credit Union branch, which will absorb the South City branch in a merger.

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Four people may be made redundant as Invercargill credit union branches merge.

The merger is part of plans by the New Zealand Credit Union to consolidate some of its smaller South Island branches.

NZ Credit Union chief executive Andrew Leys said the Invercargill South branch would merge into the Invercargill branch in Kelvin St next month. Staff were told on Tuesday of the decision, which came as a shock, he said. "It's a difficult task to go through but they are all very passionate about NZ Credit Union."

Loan activity had declined, while membership growth and in-branch transaction activity had also reduced, Mr Leys said.

The decision followed a review and assessment by the board and senior management.

"Online and automated services have impacted over the years. It was costly to keep a personal service and NZ Credit Union had to scale to keep this aspect," he said. It had 6000 members in Invercargill.

A consultation process was ongoing with all workers but there could be about four redundancies in Invercargill and up to 17 in the South Island.

“Our priority at this time is looking after our staff and our 24,000 members in the South Island. The changes we are making will ensure we have a strong and sustainable platform to service the needs of members into the future in locations that will remain open," Mr Leys said. NZ Credit Union would work with members whose branches were affected to find the best service solutions for them. These would include internet, telephone or text banking, email, or using the contact centre.

NZ Credit Union's two Christchurch branches would also be consolidated to one in the city, while the branches in Lawrence, Hokitika and Westport will close on September 7 along with Invercargill South.

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- The Southland Times

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