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National MP Nick Smith has welcomed today’s announcement by the Bankers Association that the new banking hub will open on Thursday 3 December in the Stoke Pharmacy at Putaitai St

“Confirmation of the opening date of this innovative banking service is great news for Stoke and particularly for seniors. There has been huge frustration since the Stoke branch of Kiwibank closed in November 2018 and the delays from Covid in getting the promised banking hub operational.

“This new banking hub is a better service than was previously available before Kiwibank closed. The new hub is for customers of all six major banks – ASB, ANZ, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB and Westpac. It provides a new smart automatic teller machine and two booths for phone banking and internet banking. The most important part of the service will be trained tellers to assist customers that will improve accessibility but also assist seniors in being more confident using modern electronic banking services.

“This new banking hub is a bonus for Stoke and the wider Nelson community. People are more likely to shop in Stoke if it has a banking service, helping Stoke’s retail businesses. It reduces the number of people having to travel in and out of the city or to Richmond. It will also help our elderly retain their independence.

“Stoke’s new banking hub is the product of strong community advocacy in response to Kiwibank’s closure. It saw a huge public meeting and a petition to Parliament last year with over 2,000 signatories. I commend Grey Power Nelson, Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese, Stoke businesses, the wider Stoke community and the Bankers Association on getting this successful outcome.

“This new innovative banking service in Stoke is part of a 12 month trial alongside communities in Twizel, Martinborough and Opunaki. I urge Stoke people to use the new service so we can ensure its viability and continuance.”

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