Kurow residents upset by bank closure
Fri, 13 Jul 2012 6:32p.m.
By Dave Gooselink
The National Bank has had a branch in Kurow for more than 100 years, but it chose an ominous day to close the doors for good.
“We're very disappointed because so many people rely on it and we have a lot of older people too in this town that can't travel to Oamaru,” says long-time resident Evelyn Sinclair.
It was a busy final day, with some customers visiting to voice their anger.
“We’ll cancel all our accounts, and in protest my husband will close his business account,” says former customer Heather Bogdals.
The closure comes after an engineer's report warned of the earthquake risks of the old concrete building.
National Bank regional general manager Wayne Tippet says it poses a safety hazard/
“Their feedback to us is that this building isn't structurally sound, and if there was an earthquake in this area then we would be at risk,” he says.
The bank says the cost of earthquake strengthening just wasn't economic in such a small community, and also ruled out moving to another location in town.
There's an ATM at the garage and the owners of the Four Square are also considering one, but are concerned about the security risk.
“You can only carry so much cash, otherwise it's going to become dangerous,” says owner Diana de Jong.
The National Bank is setting up a secure drop box facility at the Kurow museum for business customers, and is confident internet and phone banking will ease the loss of a branch for most people.
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14/07/2012 4:46:04 p.m.
Why have the National Bank just bit the bullet and done the work to keep the building up to spec , shurely they have a ressponsability to keep it up as a heritage building and as well as a moral one to the people there instead of just abandoning it.
14/07/2012 3:05:43 p.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
Every bank branch needs to make a profit...either to please or bid farewell her shareholders.
13/07/2012 6:49:39 p.m.
hi if they think thats bad they need to checkout buildings in Dunedin.
as some buildings here look worse then some in christchurch. and if there was an earthquake here in Dunedin there would be alot more fatalities in Dunedin than there were in christchurch.
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