RBC-Royal Bank of Canada has announced it is closing its branch in Lake Cowichan on Nov. 4, 2021, leaving the community with Island Savings as its only brick-and-mortar financial institution.
In a statement, RBC said bank branches remain a very important part of its presence in Canada.
“But at the same time, our branch network continues to change and evolve as we seek to serve our clients where and how they wish to bank,” the statement said.
“In some cases, this may involve combining branches, relocating certain branches or opening new ones. These decisions are made after careful consideration of how we can best serve our clients in their given market.”
The statement said that while RBC is closing the Lake Cowichan branch, it is excited to remain part of the growth in that community and will continue to have a dedicated mortgage specialist who lives and works there, as well as other employees working from home serving the bank’s existing and future clients.
RBC said none of the four staff at the branch will be laid off as they will be working in their same roles in another branch, or will be working from home.
“We are confident that our team will work closely with all clients to ensure they are welcomed to their new home branch, and that we continue to offer valued advice that meets and is customized to all their financial needs,” RBC said in the statement.
“In addition to mobile banking, online and telephone banking, video client meetings and ATMs, clients will continue to be served by mobile experts including financial planners, investment and retirement planners, mortgage specialists, commercial bankers and small business advisors who will meet with them where most convenient, such as at their homes, at the office or in a branch.”
Lake Cowichan Coun. Kristine Sandhu said council has not yet met to discuss the bank closure, but she’s a client of the branch and feels sad for the community with its loss, especially Lake Cowichan’s seniors.
“People will have to drive to Duncan to do their banking,” she said.
“I do a lot of my banking online, but many older people like to do their banking in person, and this will be a problem for many of them.”
Kendall Gross, president at Island Savings, assured the people of Lake Cowichan that the credit union remains firmly committed to the community, and its branch there will remain open.
“For generations, Island Savings has been providing personalized financial advice, friendly service and caring support for community causes in Lake Cowichan, and this won’t change,” he said.
“As a division of First West Credit Union, we are proud to provide members with the strength and stability of a large financial cooperative while using our local approach and knowledge to help our communities thrive.”