Fraser Lake is losing its only bank, and the consequences could be further reaching than just lack of convenience.
According to the Mayor of Fraser Lake, Sarrah Storey, she received a call from the District Vice President of CIBC on Friday of last week saying the area’s branch would be closing in September of next year and they would not be installing an ATM.
“The businesses are very concerned about where they are going to put their deposits, the elders and seniors are concerned; many of them cash their cheques and don’t do online banking. Being in a rural community means that not everyone has access to the internet.”
It’s not just access to personal banking that is in jeopardy, according to Storey.
“A lot of the businesses are concerned that if people are traveling out of town to do their banking, they’ll be taking their business elsewhere, which is something that has been going on in Fraser Lake for a while. It takes away local shopping.”
After the closing of the Endako mine a few years ago and the loss of a number of other businesses in the area, Storey said they’ll have to start looking at other options for revenue.
“Being in an industry based town, when the industry starts to go down, the community goes down with it.”
The bank they are losing services up to nine different communities of which Storey estimates there are about 2500 residents.
“We’re disappointed with CIBC’s decision to close.”
“I just think that we need to remember that the little people matter too. All these communities, all these people, I think we matter,” said Storey.
“We have customer loyalty, in these smaller places we support the businesses that are here, and it’s hard for people to grasp that we don’t matter in their eyes.”
MyPGNow has reached out to CIBC for comment, but as of this publication we have not been in contact.