PARRSBORO, N.S. – Parrsboro has taken a bit of an economic hit with news CIBC is closing its Parrsboro branch next June.
A sign on the door of the branch says the banking centre will close June 6, but clients will be able to continue their daily banking business via CIBC online and mobile and telephone banking, or by visiting the bank’s Springhill branch.
“Currently over 80 per cent of our client transactions take place outside of a banking centre, through online, mobile and telephone banking,” the bank’s director of public affairs Trish Tervit said in an email to the Amherst News. “As a result of this shift, we’ve made adjustments to our network that includes a small number of rural and urban banking centre closures.”
The closure will impact five employees at the Parrsboro branch and Tervit said CIBC is working with them on options available within the bank.
The Parrsboro branch first opened in 1874 as the Halifax Banking Company.
Norman Rafuse, who represents Parrsboro on Cumberland municipal council, said he’s disappointed with the move, but added the former town still has the Royal Bank.
“We are lucky in one sense in that we do have another bank still in the community,” Rafuse said. “It’s disappointing that we’re losing some jobs, but it’s not a disaster for the town. Still, it’s not good at this particular of time and creates a bit of a cloud over the community.”
Rafuse said Parrsboro residents are used to adversity. When the former Scott papermill closed more than 20 years ago everything thought the community would collapse, but Parrsboro persevered then and he’s confident it will persevere now.
“There were 35 jobs in town and more outside town that were lost. We survived that and we will survive that,” Rafuse said.
David Beattie, who’s partnering with Rafuse, Wendell Gallagher and Tom MacLaren in the creation of the Two Islands Brewery and Rising Tide Bakery, said it’s good for a community the size of Parrsboro to be able to support one bank.
“We’re sad to see CIBC go but for a town the size of Parrsboro to have a bank at all is still a good thing,” Beattie said. “I’m sure there will be enough support for the remaining bank.”