The bank’s Cook Islands country head, Glen Stewart said the decision to close the branch had been difficult, and the ANZ remained committed to Cook Islands.
He said the bank had maintained a presence in this country for almost 30 years.
“Our key strategic priority across the Pacific is to build a sustainable business, which means focusing our presence where most customers need us.
“Aitutaki’s population is small, and with only 350 customers on the island, unfortunately we can’t continue to provide branch services. We will also need to remove our ATM when the branch closes, because the risk of having a stand-alone ATM is too high.”
Stewart said the bank was not asking customers to close their accounts.
“Customers can continue to use ANZ internet banking to make free domestic transfers to another bank or make purchases using EFTPOS. Customers can also use our new Pacific app to manage their money.
“I understand some customers still prefer face-to-face services and this news will be difficult for them. I also want to acknowledge our local staff in Aitutaki, who have worked tirelessly to provide the best banking experience for our customers,” Mr Stewart said.
The branch will continue to open from 9.00am-3.00pm until August 24, and the bank would increase its focus on familiarising customers with the digital options available, Stewart added.
“We are committed to helping our customers learn about the benefits and security of using digital banking.
“We are supporting the staff members who work at the branch and are making every effort to find them ‘redeployment’ opportunities with ANZ,” Stewart said.