Scotiabank to close rural branches in Eastern Ontario
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2013 3:15PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:48PM EST
Residents in three Eastern Ontario towns are mounting a campaign to keep their local Scotiabank branches open.
There are petitions, flyers, e-mails, posters and banners used in a campaign called Save Our Scotiabank or SOS.
"We need the bank to survive in the community," says Rob Merriman, a Maxville business owner.
Scotiabank has confirmed to CTV Ottawa of a plan to close branches in Maxville, St. Isidore, and Avonmore this fall.
A new modern branch will be built in Cassleman, a 20 minute drive away for most residents.
In a statement provided to CTV Ottawa, Scotiabank says its new plan will address the banking needs of every area resident.
“The new branch will provide better and longer business hours and be open on Saturdays, have updated facilities, a drive-thru ABM and more room for customer interaction in the facility,” explained Scotiabank in a statement.
Local residents say the branches are an integral part of their communities with more than a 100 year history of business.
"Barkley store started in 1908, 105 years, and during that whole time we've never been more than 50 feet away from Scotiabank in this community," says Murray Barkley, owner of the Avonmore store.
85-year-old Eunice Carruthers says many people will miss the face-to-face relationship they have established at their local banks.
"They know you by name. I know it doesn't happen in the city banks but it does in the country ones," she says.
Carruthers barely uses bank cards and still gets her account balance printed in a booklet. She says staff at her local branch know her needs.
"I don't go to the machines. I go to the bank."
A townhall with Scotiabank staff will be held this week in each of the three towns.
Scotiabank reported record profits in 2012, earning 1.5 billion dollars in the fourth quarter alone.
With a full report from CTV's John Hua