Failed quake test forces bank to move

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 09:12 19/12/2012

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Changes are ahead for the Waimate branch of the ANZ Bank.

The bank will shift to a temporary site early next year after its present building was found not to be up to earthquake standard.

Temporary cabins are being fitted out with five staff at the branch on the move.

ANZ National Banking Group Dunedin and North regional manager Vaughan Keenan said the shift would be a short-term fix as the current site had failed an assessment.

"There's a couple of options for us; we are looking at upgrading the current site or moving into a container branch."

He said the option was available to set up containers similar to those developed in Christchurch after the earthquakes.

Following the Canterbury earthquakes the bank had engineers assess the buildings housing all ANZ branches throughout the country.

Those reports revealed work was required on Waimate and branches in Temuka and Geraldine to bring them up to earthquake code standard.

The ANZ branch in Oamaru moved into the earthquake-strengthened National Bank several months ago when engineers discovered the ANZ building was not up to strength. The National Bank closed its branch in Kurow earlier this year.

Mayor John Coles said he understood it was a temporary situation for Waimate.

"I understand it is for three months, hopefully by which time a more permanent accommodation will be in place.

"Mr Keenan assured me there is no way this bank will leave town."

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- The Timaru Herald

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