CIBC will transfer accounts to Hagersville
Lawyer William Kelly, president of the Jarvis Board of Trade, was disappointed to learn recently that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will leave town next spring. When that happens, the growing community will be left without a financial institution. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER
Banking will be a hassle next summer for anyone in Jarvis who lacks transportation.
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is the last financial institution in town. The bank has confirmed it will pull up stakes in Jarvis next May. Anyone at the branch wanting to do business with CIBC will have to travel to Hagersville.
When CIBC leaves, there won’t even be an automated teller machine left in Jarvis. CIBC has scheduled a public meeting at the Jarvis Community Centre Nov. 30 to discuss the changes.
“To say this hasn’t been well-received is an understatement,” Jarvis-area Coun. Leroy Bartlett said Wednesday. “At the public meeting, CIBC will hear that the community is not happy, for sure.”
CIBC’s decision was discussed at a recent meeting of Haldimand council. Mayor Ken Hewitt has sent the bank a letter expressing the county’s concern and disappointment with the decision.
In the 1980s, three of Canada’s major banks had branches in Jarvis. The Royal Bank of Canada and Scotia Bank have since left. CIBC is the last remaining and will soon be gone too.
“All the banks are doing this,” says Jarvis lawyer William Kelly, president of the Jarvis Board of Trade. “They prefer not to have branches in smaller towns. I’m sure they’ve heard all the arguments against this before.”
CIBC has had a branch in Jarvis since 1898. The closure affects four employees. All have been offered opportunities elsewhere in the CIBC network.
Caroline Van Hasselt, spokesperson for CIBC, says demand is dwindling for bank branches now that an increasing number of people are banking online or over the phone.
“Our clients in Jarvis will have their accounts transferred to our Hagersville banking centre at the end of the business day May 24,” Van Hasselt said in an email. “We will ensure there is no disruption in service. Clients can also continue to use our nearby Simcoe banking centre.”
News of the Jarvis closure follows word that CIBC also plans to close its branch in Port Rowan. When CIBC leaves Port Rowan next July, the growing town will also be left without a financial institution.
Both the Long Point Country Chamber of Commerce and the Jarvis Board of Trade are exploring the possibility of attracting a credit union to town.
“It’s unfortunate, but there’s not a lot council can do,” Port Rowan Coun. Noel Haydt said at Tuesday’s meeting of Norfolk council.
“I hear we may lose our Service Ontario outlet over this. This is a real blow to my community. I hope that a credit union or another bank or some other financial institution can come to our community.”
The future of the Service Ontario outlet in Port Rowan is in question because the contractor there has to make daily bank deposits. Once CIBC leaves Port Rowan, the nearest banks will be in Tillsonburg, Delhi and Simcoe. All are a considerable drive from the lakeshore.
Haydt also wonders how the CIBC closure in Port Rowan will impact the Backus Heritage Conservation Area and its busy seasonal schedule. Backus too is required to make daily bank deposits.
Waterford Coun. Harold Sonnenberg said big financial institutions are vacating small-town Ontario at a rapid rate. He noted that the Bank of Montreal recently closed its branch on Alice Street in Waterford after serving the community for 114 years.
“It’s a sign of the times,” Sonnenberg said. “It’s a numbers game that the big banks play. If you don’t fit the niche you lose your branch.”
The Nov. 30 meeting in Jarvis gets underway at 7 p.m. and is expected to last till 9 p.m.