RBC closing bank branch in Metcalfe
Royal Bank of Canada is set to close its branch in Metcalfe this fall, leaving the village in Ottawa's south end without a bank branch.
Now, the area councillor is urging community members to join in his "big campaign to save the bank" by sending letters to RBC asking the big bank to reconsider the branch closure.
RBC tells CTV News Ottawa that clients have been notified that it will close its Royal Bank branch on Victoria Street on Oct. 14.
"RBC is consolidating the Metcalfe branch into our newly built branch at Bank and Findlay Creek," said a statement from RBC.
RBC says "a couple of factors" led to the decision to close the Metcalfe branch, including fewer clients coming into branches and more choosing to do their banking online or at the ATM, clients tending to do their banking at more than one location and more options available to meet with an advisor.
The RBC branch at Bank Street and Findlay Creek Drive opened in August 2020, and is located 15 km away from the branch in Metcalfe.
RBC says during the six-month transition period, it will work one-on-one with clients to identify the nearby branch that best suits their needs. RBC has branches at Bank and Findlay Creek, in Embrun, Manotick and Winchester.
"RBC clients in the Metcalfe and broader Osgoode Township Area will continue to be served by our network of nearby branches and ATMs, our team of mobile advisors and telephone and online banking channels," RBC said.
The councillor for the area has reached out to RBC asking them to reconsider the decision to close the branch.
"This is the conversation in the village every day. You have a farmer market down the road, you have senior citizens live in the community," Coun. George Darouze said. "We are going to do a big campaign to save the bank and it’s coming out very soon. I’m going to advocate but we need their help, we need the community help. We encourage all the members of the community to send an email, to send a letter to the bank.”
Darouze says the branch closure will have a "huge" impact on the community.
"Osgoode ward and rural areas have so much small and home businesses that they benefit from the bank and we have so many small activities in the community and people require to come to the bank.”
The Metcalfe Community Association calls a bank branch a "real necessity of the village."
“Metcalfe is growing not only in population but there is new businesses coming in that will need commercial banking. It’s a bustling city and the Royal Bank is a part of the village and we need it without question," association president Marc Sauve said.
"We need it and we already have people in the background with feet on the street."
Resident Robert Fowler tells Newstalk 580 CFRA he was "taken aback" by the decision to close the branch, adding there are a number of senior citizens living in the village.
"The number of people there can't drive, either because of their age or because of physical disabilities, and they'll have no access to the bank in Findlay Creek at all," Fowler told Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron.
While RBC says it will work with customers to learn about online banking, Fowler says most residents in the neighbourhood either do not have access to computers or are not comfortable using computers for online banking.