Thunder Bay

Beardmore, Ont. councillor criticizes Scotiabank for closing local branch

The ward councillor that represents Beardmore, Ont. says her community is devastated by the news its only bank is closing.

Beardmore's councillor says businesses, community groups will suffer from losing only nearby bank

The local Scotiabank branch in Beardmore, Ont. is slated to close September 2016. (Jeff Walters / CBC)

The ward councillor that represents Beardmore, Ont. says her community is devastated by the news its only bank is closing.

The local Scotiabank branch is slated to leave the community on Sept. 21.

Though many people do their day to day banking online, Claudette Trottier said the move will make it hard for community groups that need cash floats for events.

 "We're going to have to travel out of town to go and get money from a bank," she said.

"Then at the same time when we have money that has to get deposited, you're going to have to drive a minimum of an hour to go to either Geraldton or Nipigon."

Trottier added that the longer trip to deposit money could also put local organizations and businesses at a greater risk for theft, as they will need to hold on to cash for longer periods of time.

Scotiabank says it tried to keep branch open

An official with Scotiabank told CBC News that the bank attempted to keep the Beardmore branch viable, including running it with reduced hours.

"We had moved positions from that branch so that we had different availability of services," said Heather Armstrong, a communications director for Scotiabank.

"Unfortunately even with those changes we were just not able to keep that branch open for our customers."

Existing accounts at the bank will be moved to the Scotiabank at the corner of Balmoral Street and Hewitson Street in Thunder Bay, about 200 kilometres away.

The community never got a chance to fight to keep the branch open, Trottier said, adding that she, in partnership with area First Nations, are attempting to bring another bank to town.

With files from Heather Kitching