This week, people around New Zealand are saying to Westpac in the most concrete way – “It’s me or Bathurst Resources. You wouldn’t call in your loan to them, so I’m switching banks.”  

And it isn’t just words. They are leaving Westpac, with people closing accounts, moving mortgages and taking deposits to banks that aren’t loaning or investing in oil, coal and gas companies. Some of them started the switch process weeks ago, talking to their banks managers, taking care of all the paperwork, opening a new account in another bank. This week all they have to do is walk into their local branch to close their accounts, cut up their Westpac cards, and celebrate the fact that they won’t be giving their money to a bank that paints a very green and sustainable picture of itself, yet is funding new coal projects – and helping drive climate change – at the same time. Westpac can’t just talk the talk, they have to walk the walk.

And if they fail to do so, they are going to start losing customers. One by one. Starting from this week.

So what’s happening this week?

Five big group switch events in five cities – WellingtonAucklandDunedin, Christchurch, Nelson and Tauranga (click on each of them to find out more details on their Facebook event pages!) Plus – individuals or groups of 2-3 people are joining in with their own switch events in towns and cities around the country. Westpac customers are heading to their local branches to close their accounts together, making the message visible to other customers and media. Come along to one of the events, or hold a “one-person switch”! Even if you are not Westpac customer your presence and support will be highly appreciated.And if you want to make the switch, but aren’t quite ready to close your account this week, you can still take part in an event – there is no better week to head into you local branch to let them know you’ll be closing your account shortly and ask to set-up a meeting to talk about what you need to do.

We will have individual switchers around the country as well, all taking the opportunity to talk to their bank managers or tellers about the reasons behind their switch. As it turns out, most Westpac branch managers that people have talked to so far, have no idea about the Bathurst loan and the issues around it, so the switch has a good educational twist as well.

Come and join us this week! Come along to one of the events and help us to spread the word – share our Facebook and Twitter posts, tell your friends and sign up to our email list to make sure you don’t miss on what is coming next. If you are thinking of switching later this year, or curious about where your bank stands on fossil fuel investment – take a look at our Making the Switch Guide – it includes a table showing which other banks are Fossil Free. Drop us an email, too, so we can help you through the process and answer your questions if you happen to have any!

Westpac Swicth week_all events