July 10, 2017 7:40 pm
Updated: July 11, 2017 4:11 pm

Southern Sask. bank to close after more than 100 years in business

Several small communities across Saskatchewan are seeing their local bank branches close. Is it a financial decision or just a sign of the times? David Baxter headed south to find out.

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For more than a century, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) branch in Radville, Sask. has been a fixture on Main Street. Built in 1911, CIBC has always operated out of the heritage building.

Now, the longest serving business in the southern Saskatchewan town will be closing its doors for the final time at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 13.

“Obviously disappointment, disheartenment. Nobody ever wants to see any of their businesses lost in a community,” town administrator Shauna Bourassa said.

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All the accounts will be transitioned to the CIBC branch in Weyburn, Sask., which is about a 35 minute drive away.

In a statement, CIBC spokesperson Caroline van Hasslet said it was a “difficult decision” to close the Radville branch.

“While the Radville Banking Centre has seen low business volumes over a number of years, the rapid pace at which our clients are choosing to bank online and by phone is also a contributing factor to this change,” she said.

“We will be automatically transferring client accounts to Weyburn, and our teams in both Radville and Weyburn have been spending time with clients to help them learn more about these convenient options for their everyday banking.”

READ MORE: Are Canada’s small-town bank branches doomed?

Multiple signs are currently posted on the door of the bank with numbers to call for more information, and one advertising an open house from March 30.

As for the building itself, its future is still up in the air. Bourassa said CIBC owns the building.

“Right now, we don’t know what’s going to be happening. CIBC will be working with us,” Bourassa explained.

“We cannot speak to the fact if it will be sold or if anything else is going to be taking its place in that building. We do hope that will be the case.”

Other rural bank closures

Radville is not alone. Nine other CIBC branches are set to close in Saskatchewan this year. These communities include Kelvington, Watson, Coronach, Turtleford, Stoughton, Hafford, Norquay, Canwood and Central Butte.

The growth of online banking is attributed to these closures as well.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) clients in six communities will also see their local banks close and be replaced buy “mobile experts”.

According to a RBC spokesperson these experts can meet clients in their home communities and handle all major financial services.

The switch is happening because of more and more clients using phone and online banking as their primary method of handling their money.

Wawota, Ituna, Luseland, Invermay, Lemberg and Eyebrow will all see their local branches close this year. Two Moose Jaw branches will be merging at the new Civic Centre Plaza.

Scotiabank said they have no plans of closing or merging any Saskatchewan branches this year. Requests for comment from TD Canada Trust and Bank of Montreal were not returned.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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