The only bank serving the 650 residents of Allan closed for the final time Friday – the latest in a string of shuttered financial institutions across rural Saskatchewan.
Customers at Allan’s TD Canada Trust branch have been reassigned to the Attridge Drive location in Saskatoon, about 65 kilometres away.
Cory Maynard established his agriculture services business, Grasslander, across the street from the TD bank in Allan, allowing him to walk across the street to do his banking.
“It means that my costs are going up a lot,” Maynard said of the Allan branch closure.
“To have to take time now to drive to the city to do remittance payments, to deposit cheques.”
In the age of online and mobile banking, many rural banks across the province are closing down, including TD branches in Kyle and Langenburg.
Kyle customers have been shifted to a Swift Current branch, while Langenburg patrons are now assigned to a Yorkton branch.
Maynard fears a new branch wouldn’t offer the same personal relationship he established in Allan.
“We’re going to be back to being nobodies, with nobody that I don’t think is going to help us,” Maynard said.
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Allan Coun. Louise Hagel is concerned about the safety of local business owners who handle a lot of cash and others forced to drive to Saskatoon or to a new provider in a community about 30 kilometres away.
“This is symptomatic of what’s happening all across rural Saskatchewan – that essential services like this are being removed from communities,” Hagel said.
In a statement to Global News, TD spokesperson Geraldine Anderson said the company works directly with customers to make branch transitions comfortable.
“We are continually assessing the competitive landscape to ensure we are optimizing our branch network, and as a result, we occasionally grow or consolidate based on review findings,” she said.
TD held a meeting with residents in each affected community before the closure.