Banking on wheels
BNZ has a long history of innovation, offering new and more convenient ways to provide banking services to its customers.
In 1943, BNZ opened New Zealand’s first mobile bank in a caravan, to meet the needs of American servicemen during WWII.
Soon we had ‘mobile caravans’ out on the roads, at events and in temporary sites.
In 1951 Christchurch branch wrote to banks in England and Scotland who were also using mobile banks to determine the effectiveness of the service and the most suitable design for a purpose-built mobile bank.
In the late 1950s the banks new custom-built mobile branch was on the road. The 1961 BNZ staff news has a lovely description of the vehicle;
‘..emblazoned with the bank’s name and crest and painted deep green and off-white with gold lettering. The mobile bank regularly visits St Heliers and Glen Innes agencies, Devonport Naval base and is also seen at carnivals and Grand Prix meetings.
But it is the inside you must see to really appreciate the vehicle. Finished in walnut formica it is cunningly constructed to make the maximum use of the space available. At the customer’s end is a table for filling lodgement slips, writing cheques etc. and opposite it a comfortable chair for a waiting customer.
The teller is provided with a cash till, note drawer and all the facilities of a teller’s box. But that’s not all. In addition, there is a well concealed wash basin, water tank, broom cupboard and natty little draw to hold firmly a teapot and cups etc. necessary for brewing a ‘cuppa’.’
The initial reasoning for the mobile banks in Christchurch included being able to cater to the newly developed and expanding suburbs of Papanui, Addington, Linwood and St Albans.
In the 1970’s and early 80's mobile vans were still in use in and around Christchurch and Riccarton.
In 2019 BNZ launched a new purpose built 'mobile bank' which complements the existing retail network in bringing banking services direct to our customers in more locations.