Westpac Gladstone’s manager Nick Barker shows off the revamped branch.
Westpac Gladstone’s manager Nick Barker shows off the revamped branch. Luka Kauzlaric

Westpac facelift targets Gladstone's diverse population

A MULTI-million dollar revamp at Westpac Gladstone is helping customers take charge of their banking needs.

Westpac Gladstone is the first of eight banks across the state to upgrade to the state-of-the-art Bank Now format that breaks through traditional barriers.

The screens and counters that once separated customers from staff have been taken away and replaced with an open plan lay-out which combines a mix of self-service banking options.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, self-service, "smart" ATMs that accept deposits through cash, coins and cheques, as well as exchanging notes for coins, can be accessed at all hours outside of normal branch opening times.

But despite common misconceptions of machines replacing humans, bank manager Nicholas Barker said the move had allowed them to invest in more staff who could focus on interactions rather than transactions.

"It's helped us understand what we're doing by changing the focus between staff and customers," he said.

"We're trying to be as convenient as we can."

Mr Barker said the new bank model supported Gladstone's diverse demographic, offering the technical capability to help the regular customer base with their banking needs as well as fly-in-fly-out clientele who needed access 24 hours a day.

"We also recognise that shift work in this busy industrial city means our customers are looking for more to help them connect with their financial needs," he said.

Westpac has been in Goondoon St since 1931 when it opened under the Bank of New South Wales name.