BMO to close Lansdowne’s only bank
Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:37PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:49PM EDT
Banking in Lansdowne, near Kingston, will look a lot different this fall with the planned closure of the rural town’s only bank.
The Bank of Montreal is set to close its location on Prince Street on October 19. It means its customers will have to go to branches in Gananoque or Brockville.
“It’s a sign of the times but somewhere along the way we’re losing our touch of humanity in the interest of the bottom line,” said Martin Deubner who operates the Hilltop Coffee Stop with his wife.
In a statement BMO said the reason behind the change can be attributed to changing customer needs.
“…We’re seeing a growing demand for face-to-face specialized advisory services and at the same time fewer ‘over-the-counter’ transactions as more customers use our alternative banking channels -- such as our new ATMs and our mobile app -- to do their day-to-day banking,” said BMO spokesperson Ralph Marranca.
Marranca said the Gananoque branch offers more parking, more employees and longer hours.
An ATM will remain in Lansdowne but many residents say it isn’t enough.
“If there’s an active ATM here it’s a benefit, that’s a positive choice on their behalf, but it doesn’t replace the personal service,” said Andrew Murray.
The mayor of Leeds and the Thousand Islands said the issue will be discussed at council on May 7th and bank officials will hold a public meeting at the Lansdowne Community Hall on May 8th from 7 to 9 p.m.
BMO said employees from the Gananoque branch will be working in the Lansdowne branch in the coming months so that they can get to know customers on a personal level.
Three bank employees are affected by the changes. BMO said they’re working with them to figure out what they’d like to do going forward.