In January 2009, Westpac New Zealand set in motion a Retail Branch Distribution change program to drive future growth and increase customer value.
The project identified a strong correlation between the share of branches in a geographical area and the share of customers. While Westpac is well represented nationally, it needed more growth in Auckland to have a market share comparative with its size.
Building new branches was a particularly bold initiative in the shadow of the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, when most banks were doing everything they could to cut costs and centralize operations.
A dozen ‘community branches’ were opened across Auckland—small, flexible points of presence in the heart of local communities. The objective: to offer customers an unmatched level of personal service and 24x7 convenience. New technology played a central role in Westpac’s return to community banking, in particular NCR Cash Recycler and NCR SelfServ™ ATMs with Intelligent Deposit.