BNZ Partners with clients
The Partners model is unique to New Zealand banking – as is the first business banking centre that officially opened on the North Shore in August.
The North Shore business centre is the first in a nationwide network of business centres that will be developed across the country over the next 12 months.
Partners teams have been established across the country to work closely with their clients and to really understand their business and operate with a high degree of autonomy. The success of the new model is driven by The level of empowerment and ownership that has been placed in the hands of the local management team.
Through the support, knowledge, expertise, and decision making provided by this structure better service to the local business community were able to be provided.
Investing in communities
The business centres consist of modern facilities available to all clients for use within their professional networks. These centres will provide clients with a professional meeting space that comes complete with wireless internet access, smart board and video conferencing – all complementary.
The business centres are an investment in local business communities and are a way to help clients, allowing them access to any of these centres no matter where they are in the country. For example, if someone is based in the South Island but happens to be in Hamilton on business, they will be able to use the business centre there.
Instead of meeting clients in coffee shops or booking hotel facilities, clients can now say: “We can use my bank for that meeting”. It gives them a point of differentiation and makes them feel like a valued member.
Why did BNZ implement this model in New Zealand?
There was not much by way of differentiation between the four big banks in New Zealand - we wanted to offer a unique banking experience.
Clients were saying that they wanted shorter response times and, in order to do this, key decision makers have been placed locally. This in itself was a bold move at a time when most companies were moving towards a more centralised model - the opposite has been done and more control has been given to local staff within the business.
The biggest challenge was to launch this proposition in a very difficult economic environment. Fortunately, it’s been very successful.
Fiona Ehn is the National Managing Partner Small and Medium Enterprises, BNZ Partners. This article is intended as a general discussion only. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent those of Bank of New Zealand or its related entities.06.11.2009