A Kanata bank that has been open nearly half a century is closing its doors by early next year.

Scotiabank says it's a business decision, driven in part by consumer trends. The branch, on Beaverbrook Road, near Teron Road, will shut its doors February 5, leaving some angry customers in its wake.

The tiny branch has been in the mall since the 1960’s when "father of Kanata", Bill Teron, first envisioned that community.

Mary Stuart has been going there almost since day one.

‘I’m standing in the mall that was built some 50 years ago,’ says Mary Stuart, ‘that’s how long Kanata has been created and this was the mall that was there at the start. I can’t believe it!’

Developer Bill Teron built Kanata based on the walkable community, with paths crisscrossing the neighbourhood, including one leading right to the bank.

‘This bank has been here my whole life I think,’ says bank customer Angela Murray, ‘I can't remember a time there wasn't this bank.’

But, as of February 5th there won’t be.  It is closing down and merging with another branch that is currently operating at Terry Fox and Campeau Drive, a couple of kilometres away.

In a statement, Scotiabank spokesperson Heather Armstrong said, ‘The changing customer needs and preferences are driving profound change for retail banks around the world. Scotiabank is adapting to meet our customers' demands."

They are demands that are driving more customers on-line and away from traditional banking.

‘Half the time, I just do e-transfers on line,’ says customer Eric Haller, ‘I've been here in the area for two months and this is only second time I've been here.’

The Canadian Bankers Association says all banks have had to adapt to the changing needs of consumers who want access outside those ‘banking hours.’

The association found that 13% of Canadians now regularly use a branch to do their routine banking. 

And that more than half the population, or 55%, uses the internet primarily for financial transactions.

Still, in this tight-knit community, the local bank will be sorely missed.

‘I’m sad to see it go,’ says customer Sarafina Trudel, ‘because we've gotten to know the staff quite well.  We're a very local business and we're just down the street so it’s going to make us go further each day to do our daily deposits.’

‘This is the last whack at us,’ adds customer Mary Stuart, ‘the bank is disappearing?’

While we are hearing more of these stories the figures actually show there are more branches opening across Canada each year, according to the Canadian Bankers Association;  6,021 in 2007 to 6,348 today.