Kiwibank leaving Alex, Cromwell

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Alexandra and Cromwell will lose Kiwibank services from the end of next month.

After many years of providing banking services, Paper Plus Cromwell and Alexandra will be closing their respective Kiwibank agencies on May 31.

The Cromwell agency has operated in Paper Plus for more than 15 years and was among the first Kiwibank agencies to be established in New Zealand.

In the following years, the Alexandra agency was also established.

It was subsequently supported by Paper Plus to continue to provide local banking services when NZ Post and Kiwibank ceased providing their own direct services to the community in 2017.

Gai Paardekooper, owner and operator of both Paper Plus Cromwell and Alexandra, said although she had been in discussions with Kiwibank for several months, a viable solution could not be reached to allow the stores to continue offering banking services.

‘‘It is heartbreaking that after 15 years of providing Kiwibank services to our local communities that the prospective changes imposed by Kiwibank has ended our relationship with them, along with our ability to continue providing those services to our Cromwell and Alexandra customers, whom we have enjoyed serving for many years’’ she said.

‘‘We understand the impact that this will have on our customers, and regret that this circumstance means that it is no longer possible to offer these services.’’

NZ Post services were not affected by this change of service due to Kiwibank’s separation from NZ Post several years ago and all post services would continue to be offered in both stores, Mrs Paardekooper said.

The Cromwell and Alexandra stores would inform customers of the change in services available to their customers both in-store and via email where possible, she said.

As the original franchise contract shared with New Zealand Post at each Kiwibank site expires, computer systems and cash handling have to be separated, and the continuation of banking services at agencies have to be renegotiated with the bank.

The loss of Kiwibank services follows a general downsizing of banking services in Central Otago.

In March 2020, ANZ slashed the number of days its doors opened to the public in Alexandra and Cromwell.

The move meant the bank’s Alexandra branch only opens on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the Cromwell branch Thursdays and Fridays.