New Brunswick

Hartland hopes its only bank will rethink abandoning town

Hartland residents are meeting tonight to discuss Scotiabank's decision to leave town and force residents to travel to elsewhere to bank in person.

Scotiabank decision will hurt residents, businesses in town and surrounding areas, chamber says

A community meeting is being held to discuss the pending closure of the town's only bank.

Residents of Hartland are meeting tonight to discuss the impending closure of the town's only bank. 

Richard Orser, president of the Central Carleton Chamber of Commerce, says Scotiabank advised residents in early February the branch will close Oct. 4. 

"It was a little heartbreaking, disappointing — and the same with the citizens of the town and the surrounding communities," Orser said Tuesday of getting the news. 

In addition to the disruption for individual residents, the closure will also affect more than 80 small businesses in the area, he said.

Hope for reconsideration

Orser called it sad that Scotiabank picked Hartland as the place to close a branch when other locations, such as Doaktown and Nackawic, are staying open.

But, he added, those locations may also close in the future, which would be unfortunate for those communities. 

"Hopefully, they reconsider," Orser said.

Many people are asking why Hartland was chosen for closure, he said. The bank said it was a profitable location but there was no opportunity for growth investment. 

"I'm not sure what that means but I guess, at a business point of view, that if they want more growth in the investment side …  what I think they have to do is get out of their office and go see people," Orser said.

Expects business will be hurt

Orser said he recognizes banking is changing, with more transactions taking place online, but some people, including many seniors, still want to do their banking in person.

After Scotiabank pulls out, residents will have to travel 18 kilometres to Woodstock or Florenceville-Bristol to do their banking. 

"This will definitely affect the businesses in Hartland," Orser said. "If they're going to these other areas to do their banking, well, maybe I'm going to pick up my groceries here or do some other shopping, so it all has a snowball effect." 

With files from Information Morning Fredericton