Westpac solves branch closure problem with portable branches

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Westpac Mobile container branches were recently rolled out as part of the Re:Start Christchurch initiative in the wake of the devastating February 2011 earthquake.

The branch was created using two 8-foot by 40-foot containers to create a 16-foot branch in the shape of a U and finished in Westpac’s distinctive ruby red.

The branch is a fully-functioning bank, including tellers, IT and phone equipment, offices and document storage.

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The branch includes a Smart ATM that can process deposits instantly and a standard ATM for cash withdrawals. Standard transactional services are also available.

A large canopy was placed across the centre of the containers to create an inviting reception area for Westpac bankers, with carpet underfoot and designer furnishings.

Glass sliding doors provide the entryway to the reception area, while large glass panels provide a view. The containers are also fully fitted with toilet facilities and air conditioning.

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The containers were designed as fully mobile branches but will stay as a permanent fixture in Cashel Street.

It was a unique approach to keeping safe in the wake of natural disasters while still providing customers and staff with a quality banking experience.

Westpac Foxton has followed suit, leaving their premises and operating out of two 40-foot shipping containers on the corner of Main and Wharf streets since the earthquake.

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The area manager of Westpac Foxton, Darren Calder, said Westpac were committed to ensuring the safety of its staff and customer base, declaring a higher standard for Westpac branches than what was offered within the afflicted buildings from the earthquake.

“We are committed to Foxton, so our properties team came up with a unique solution, because of what happened in Christchurch.

“It’s interesting, it’s a bank thinking outside the square.”