SOUTH MOUNTAIN – The South Mountain branch of Scotiabank is moving.

The bank, which has had several locations through the years in the small village, will be consolidating with the bank’s Kemptville site on June 18, 2020.

The new branch will be located at 300 Colonnade Dr. in the North Grenville village.

The branch services a large rural community and its leaving will have an effect on the community.

Many rural customers are older and do not routinely do their banking online.

A visit to the local branch of their bank and dealing with someone they have come to know is an important perk of having the institution right where you live.

Scotiabank plans to leave South Mountain in 2020. Morin Photo

The branch has consistently been a great supporter of just about every event in the village and surrounding area.

The bank has apparently suggested to some of its customers they can still get the service they are used to getting by going online or going to the other North Dundas branch in Chesterville.

One customer said, “I have no desire to drive to traffic congested Kemptville to do my personal business.”

There is also a concern about Internet fraud when it comes to online banking.

A customer at the branch, Theresa Bergeron, who owns Thermohair Inc., said, “The staff there know everyone personally and we have direct phone lines to talk about our accounts.”

A letter in late November to Bergeron from the bank’s district vice president, Martine Laviolette stated, “After careful consideration of the market, we have decided to relocate our services at South Mountain to our branch [in] Kemptville. We will be much better equipped to provide the one-on-one financial services you have come to expect from Scotiabank.”

Bergeron is hoping a town hall meeting planned between the bank and residents sometime in January will give residents and local business an opportunity to have their say.

Federal legislation about bank branch closing states the Commissioner of the FCAC may insist on a townhall meeting if it feels the bank has not properly consulted with the community.

South Mountain has a significant number of businessiness that use the bank on a daily bases.

“We like having contact with real people,” said Bergeron. “I make daily bank deposits so going to Kemptville or Chesterville each day to make a deposit is not practical.”

Bergeron feels there are many other local businessiness that will face the same challenge.