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New style Green Hills branch for different, local, community focused financial institution

Local customer-owned financial institution, Hunter United, will open its first new look branch in the redeveloped Stockland Green Hills Shopping Centre on March 22.

The credit union’s branch design invests heavily in digital technology but the focus is customer convenience and community according to CEO Tim Blomfeld.

Gone is the traditional ATM and the tellers behind a glass wall at the back of the branch. Instead, is a new, first for the Hunter, Teller Infinity Machine affectionately known as “Tiff”. The machine allows customers to choose between self-service cash withdrawals and deposits as well as having staff to assist them if that is what they prefer.

“Our staff won’t hover if you don’t need them but we are there as soon as you push the staff assist button,” Mr Blomfield said.

Hunter United has used local building firm Collaborative Constructions and designer Holly&Co for the project. Mr Blomfeld said the branch will be warm and inviting to match Hunter United’s service. Staff are there to assist with the full range of banking but gone are the battery hen office cubicles. They’ve been replaced with a raised bench top as well as separate booths resembling the family kitchen table. For customers who prefer self-service banking, Apple, Android and Microsoft tablets will all be available for use.

“We’re about giving our customers the choice to do their banking the way they want to – not the way a bank wants to do it,” he said

“Whether it’s taking out a loan to buy a car or a home, or simply saving up for a holiday, customers want conversations not interrogations so we’ve designed a space that promotes this style of customer interaction”.

It is not all high tech though. In keeping with the family kitchen bench theme, a repurposed fridge door features prominently on the wall adjacent to the entrance. This can be used by any local business or community group to post information about upcoming events in the area.

“The fridge door still serves as many families go-to diary and appointment keeper, so we wanted a space in our branch to serve the same purpose for the local community.”

In keeping with its focus on the community, at the front of the branch is a large bench seat with built-in phone charging facilities which is free for everyone, not just customers.

“We’re community focused and providing a spot for people to sit and charge their phone seemed like a simple way to remove one of life’s little annoyances of running out of phone charge when you are out and about”.

“Our Greenhills branch combines digital convenience without moving away from the personalised experience Hunter United has always been good at.”

The branch will be open longer hours than the big banks - Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm as well as Saturday mornings. Mr Blomfeld is also looking to offer the branch for local community groups to use after hours.

Mr Blomfeld said branch manager Jenny Jackson and her team are looking forward to serving customers and the community from their convenient location at Shop 1037 near the base of the main stairwell leading up to the food court.

The current Green Hills branch, located across the road from the shopping centre, will close to make way for the new branch.

Hunter United is a Hunter based, customer owned financial institution with its origins serving workers at the former BHP Steelworks. Over the past 50 years it has evolved into a modern, award winning organisation providing a full range of banking services.

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