CALGARY – After over 50 years the Scotiabank branch in Mayland Heights Plaza on 19th street northeast is closing.
In October it will be consolidated with another branch at 36th street and 32nd avenue northeast, six kilometers away.
“It’s like losing a real piece of the community,” Judy Gerard said. “They are the heart and soul of this community and I’m just so afraid if they close, we will lose our businesses. They will suffer.”
Former city councilor and area resident John Schmal said the Mayland branch is the only bank within a 20 block radius and it serves a lot of clients.
“There’s a lot of employees, a lot of industry here. On the south side and the north side, and it’s a big area from memorial drive to 27th avenue northeast and that’s a long distance,” Schmal said.
Petitions have been posted in the community asking Scotiabank to reconsider the move.
Alma Holst said she depends on the bank weekly.
“You could have picked me up off the floor,” Holst said. “I just don’t know where I’m going to go from here because I’m older and I just need services close to where I live.”
Scotiabank says the branch closure has to do with technology, where customers live relative to branches and how they are using banks these days.
“We’re really looking at this decision from the basis of market analysis,” said Heather Armstrong with Scotiabank. “I wouldn’t want to say it has to do with one branch and the number of accounts in that branch. The fact is customers overall have a greater demand for convenience. 80 per cent of transactions in Canada today take place outside a branch.”
Scotiabank said it knows the change will be inconvenient and promises to work with customers to help them transition.
While the community still has five months until the move, many are ready to switch banks if nothing changes.