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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Computers cannot replace a bank

Scotiabank’s Pemberton branch is set to close in July.

I am disappointed to read [Pemberton] Mayor Mike Richman’s conflicting comments in the recent Pique [news story] regarding the proposed closure of Scotiabank Pemberton. 

Although Mayor Richman did express his frustration with the bank’s closing, he appears to be accepting of the poor decision Scotiabank has made. While the people of our communities fight to keep their only chartered bank, the Mayor of the Village of Pemberton is making the statement that a few computers will make up for Scotiabank’s poor decision to discontinue an essential service that serves a much wider population than the Village of Pemberton populace.

It is unfortunate that Mayor Richman feels a few computers set up in public areas will suffice for banking services for our communities. Doing online banking on computers in public places is less than ideal for security of a customer’s personal banking information. 

From the [Pique news story], it appears that Mayor Richman will be OK with the only chartered bank closing as long as our community is thrown a “bone.” A “bone” without any meat!  

A bit of money ($25,000) and a few computers does not replace, in any way, the essential need for banking services to 11 communities (Village of Pemberton is only one of the 11 communities). The loss to the economy for Pemberton and surrounding area will be greater than a few computers and $25,000. 

The revenue from the lease of the bank premises, the loss of job opportunities for locals, and the loss of revenue from the stimulation created by this local essential service will have a much greater negative impact. 

I sure hope Mayor Richman will change his direction and support the wider community, fighting to keep their only bank, rather than simply accepting Scotiabank’s poor offering of a “bone.”

Brenda McLeod // Pemberton

(Editor’s note: Mayor Richman has regularly updated Pemberton council on Scotiabank’s planned closure during his mayor’s reports, acknowledging the impact on the community, including detailing a call with a bank executive during his Feb. 2 report.)