Karen Atkinson - Greymouth Branch Manager

Karen thought it would be a nice change to work for a more community focussed organisation and took on the role of Branch Manager, launching NBS in Greymouth.

Karen says when she first started in this job, she didn’t appreciate how much the role would mean to her over the years. “It’s been wonderful to see the branch flourish and grow year on year.

One of my proudest moments is the year end returns when we can see how our client base has grown. It’s a team effort, we work hard to get that result but it’s all worth it knowing that we’ve made a difference for our clients and the community.” Banking is a very personal thing for clients, and we treat it that way, said Karen.

Despite the shift away from face-to-face services for many organisations, NBS encourages clients to come into the branch if they prefer to discuss their situation in person. The 0800 number is also answered by branch staff who are focused on client needs. Extending our support to the wider community is also a key part of what we do says Karen. “As well as some of our larger sponsorships, for example the Life Education Trust, we also sponsor many small clubs and organisations, who find it hard to get funding and aren’t asking for much.

“I get great pleasure walking down the street and coming across students wearing an NBS branded jacket or with an NBS backpack. People are often really stoked to get an NBS brollie too, and let’s just say brollies continue to be an essential accessory in some parts of the country, laughs Karen.

“It often doesn’t take much for people to feel appreciated.” Karen tries to have a good work/life balance and in her leisure time loves to travel, particularly with her two daughters living overseas. For her, leisure time means anything that gives her pleasure, which might be walking or mountain biking, in moderation she quickly adds, or meals out or a weekend away.