8 Mar 2017

South Island credit union to close half its branches

3:08 pm on 8 March 2017

The country's third biggest credit union is closing half its branches and cutting 18 jobs.

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Photo: 123rf

Credit Union South, which has nine branches in the South Island, said it was restructuring in the face of growing internet banking and small membership at some branches.

The New Zealand-owned company will close its Greymouth, Timaru, Oamaru and Gore offices, and consolidate its two Christchurch offices.

Chief executive Tania Dickie said it had been a difficult situation, and she hoped some affected staff could be redeployed to new customer service roles being created in Dunedin, Christchurch and Invercargill.

Greymouth mayor Tony Kokshoorn said it was disappointing yet another business was closing its provincial branches and centralising into bigger cities.

He said it was another blow for provincial towns like Greymouth.

"We've had big repercussions from the coal industry closing down here, and all these little ones and two jobs here, there and everywhere, they all add up to a lot of jobs too, so it's pretty tough on the provinces at the moment, but we've just got to battle on, we've got to be resilient and we have to make sure that we just look for new opportunities."