We dropped into the Napoleon Street branch of BankWest this afternoon, to cash some travellers cheques, and were very pleasantly surprised. Back home, you stand in a queue to talk to one of a number of tellers through a glass screen - just in case you wanted to hold them up at gunpoint. (Apparently that's the norm here, too.) But this branch is trying an experiment. It is quite open, just a few staff sat behind low desks, no protective screens in sight (the money is very secure, so there's no need really), and a seating area of comfy leather sofas for customers who might need to wait. Plus very friendly staff.
The idea is that this sort of approach, as an alternative to what we have become used to, might be a draw for customers. We've no idea how they compare with the other banks out here financially at all, but walking out we agreed that if we come back we'd be inclined to open our account there simply on the basis of such an enjoyable experience. (In fact, the teller had informed us that they charged for cashing travellers cheques and that one of the other banks would do it for us for free; but we thought the charge - very small, as it turned out - was well worth the service, and didn't begrudge it in the slightest.)