Closure a surprise for Kiwibank customers

Waitara Kiwibank customers have suddenly been left without a bank after the town's franchise was closed last week with little warning.

Kiwibank, housed at the Post and Lotto shop on McLean St, was shut down on Friday.

Lorraine Coster said she learned of the closure until Tuesday when she went to pay her bill.

"The lady didn't give me a reason, she just said the service had ceased.

"I was a bit gobsmacked actually."

Coster said she preferred over-the-counter service and was now seriously considering moving banks.

"I have certain misgivings about internet banking," she said.

"To travel into New Plymouth to pay the bills is a waste, it's enough for us to seriously think about opting out."

For business owner Roz Liddell, there was no option but to change banks.

Liddell found out about the closure from her bank manager two days earlier.

"I can't fault Kiwibank, they have been great but I'm a business owner and I need a local bank."

Liddell said there were only two other banks in Waitara.

When contacted by the Taranaki Daily News the store's owner said he had "no comment" on the closure.

Kiwibank communications manager Bruce Thompson said he could not reveal why the bank had been closed because it was a "commercially sensitive issue".

"We've been in discussions with the franchise operator who has decided to withdraw the Kiwibank service."

Thompson said customers would need to use internet or phone banking or travel through to New Plymouth.

"It's always difficult when a decision like this is made, it won't affect a huge number of people but any effect on customers is regrettable," he said.

"At this stage we don't have any plans to set up another franchise in the town."

Taranaki Daily News