To the Editor,
The town Hall at Wilberforce the evening of July 12 gave an interesting insight into how banks make money. Readers of The Echo are well aware that the Bank of Nova Scotia is closing its only branch in Haliburton County and expects the depositors to follow it to Bancroft.
The issue of an ATM arose, something to replace a full-service bank. The BNS spokesman said they were seeking a site.
A spokesperson for Agnew’s (everything-from-soup-to-nuts) confirmed this. Someone from the bank’s office in Toronto had been in touch and advised how much space they would need in the store. Rent? Oh no. The bank does not pay rent. Extra insurance would be required. Surely the bank would cover that. Again, “oh no.” It isn’t the bank’s policy. What if a robber kicks in the door or heaves a brick through the window? Sorry, but that’s the merchant’s express. However, the ATM is damaged, the bank will cover that.
In summary, the Bank of Nova Scotia will leave town, then park its replacement machine rent-free in a merchant’s premises, cover none of the risks, and make off with all the service charges. This takes corporate hitch-hiking to a new low.
The spokesman at the meeting said he would investigate and get back. That was a good thing, because the guy in Toronto said Agnew’s could not call back. It was his last day with Scotiabank. More cutbacks?
The chairman promised to stay and answer all questions, and those he could not answer he would “get back to us,”
One question from two depositors was dodged.
Does the branch at Wilberforce make money – ”yes” or “no”? This brought corporate bafflegab, like “I can see you are frustrated” and not a “yes” or “no” answer, but promises of good service in another town. It was repeated. “Is Scotiabank closing a winner or dumping a loser?” More bafflegab. “You promised you would answer every question. Yes or no.” “I’ll have to get back to you with the answer.” Strangely, neither he nor his support staff asked for the contact of the questioners. That makes difficult getting back difficult.
The meeting was called by the bank to demonstrate transparency. And it did. Some things we can see right through.