STA, 25 May 2020 - The NLB bank will carry on with optimising its business network by closing ten offices across Slovenia on 15 June. The Mislinja municipality in northern Slovenia, one of the places that will experience the closure first-hand, has protested against the step.
The bank has been citing changed clients' habits and the rise of online and mobile banking as reasons for closing physical offices. During the coronavirus epidemic, digital banking services became even more popular.
NLB believes that such habits will have a long-term impact on bank visits, with people being less likely to frequent the actual offices.
The bank has already started notifying the clients as well as local communities of the step, NLB has told the STA, adding that other offices will step in if needed or a team of mobile bankers will conduct home visits.
Moreover, a NLB mobile office will keep paying visits across the country until the end of the year. The bank also highlighted that its ATMs will remain in places where the offices will be shut down.
The Mislinja community is strongly opposing the closure since the NLB office is the only bank office in the municipality. The locals are up in arms, Mislinja Mayor Bojan Borovnik told the STA, pointing out that the elderly required the vicinity of the office in particular.
Borovnik hopes that the bank's decision is not final. He is also looking into the possibility of another bank opening up an office there.
The Mislinja office was temporarily closed during the epidemic. The bank recently notified the municipality of its permanent closure.
The Koroška regional council has addressed a letter to the bank, protesting over the move and urging NLB not only to keep the office open but also to reopen a couple of offices in northern Slovenia.
Meanwhile, today the bank reopened twelve offices across Slovenia in the wake of a major easing of coronavirus restrictions.