Top News

Hantsport Scotiabank branch to shut its doors in 2019, move accounts to Windsor

The Hantsport Scotiabank branch is slated to close on May 23, 2019. The company has had a presence in the community since 1951.
The Hantsport Scotiabank branch is slated to close on May 23, 2019. The company has had a presence in the community since 1951. - Colin Chisholm

HANTSPORT, N.S. – The Hantsport Scotiabank branch’s final day of business will be May 23, 2019, as they move their operations to Windsor.

All existing accounts at the branch will automatically be moved to the Windsor branch on Water Street.

Krista Stewart, a media representative from Scotiabank, said the company has decided to close the branch because of changing customer needs and preferences, such as an increasing use of online and mobile banking.

“We recognize that not all customers use digital and online banking, but 80 per cent of transactions in Canada now take place outside the branch,” Stewart said in an emailed statement.

Stewart said the company regularly reviews their branch network, taking into account the number of customers they serve in the market area, and the way those customers are doing their banking. 

The review includes things like proximity to other branches and customer traffic.

“After careful consideration of our operations in the Hantsport community, we have made the difficult decision that we cannot continue to operate this branch.”

Read More:

Shoppers pack first Avon Community Farmers' Market Christmas craft fair

Kentville Etsy shops say they're losing business due to postal strike

New businesses on the move in Windsor, West Hants

Scotiabank has been operating in the community of Hantsport since 1951.  

Scotiabank as a whole is quite healthy, according to a recently quarterly report wherein company president and CEO Brian Porter said earnings companywide were up nine per cent.

Stewart couldn’t say if any Scotiabank employees would be laid off due to the closure, adding that the company would work with all staff during the transition.

“We hope that most of the team from the Hantsport branch will move to the Windsor branch,” she said. “For individuals who do not make the move to the Windsor branch, every effort will be made to identify alternate employment opportunities within Scotiabank.”

Stewart said there are no plans to expand the Windsor branch at this time, as it is “ready to assist customers with their banks needs.”

However, following the consolidation the Windsor branch will increase their operating hours.

Valley Credit Union ready for potential influx

Len Ells, president and CEO of the Valley Credit Union, which operates seven branches from Hantsport to Bridgetown, said he was saddened to learn that Scotiabank was

closing the Hantsport branch, adding that the Credit Union will assist those wishing to move their accounts over.

“The closure of the Bank of Nova Scotia (in Hantsport) is not good news for anybody,” Ells said. “Our intention isn’t to try to capitalize on the misfortune of others, but to create awareness and provide rural communities with information on what we do and our intent to remain in these communities.”

Ells said they’ve increased their commercial team’s presence in Hantsport, dropping in to see existing small business members and potential new clients.

“We’ve reached out to a number of individuals as well, many have contacted us by email asking about what services we provide,” he said.

“When you look at rural communities, much of the concern is with small business owners, who would need to go to another community for cash and coin and other services they may need,” he said. “Also on the senior side, many are not very mobile and perhaps don’t have their own transportation, so going outside their own community for banking services can be a challenge for some.”

Ells said Hantsport’s Credit Union has seen an increase in foot traffic “from the minute it was announced” that Scotiabank was closing.

“From a staffing standpoint, we’re making sure folks who are coming in are being looked after,” he said, adding that they aren’t planning to add on more staff or look into a bigger space at this time.

He added that the Valley Credit Union will also continue to support Hantsport non-profit organizations, such as the Hantsport Historical Society and West Hants Search and Rescue.

“We believe that we are an important contributor to communities and the local economy by being there and assisting small businesses and people to meet their own financial needs and goals and doing it with local money,” he said. “The money that we have in deposits stays in those communities and gets (loaned) out to local small businesses and individuals.”

The Valley Credit Union will be holding a “meet & greet” at Churchill House on Wednesday Dec. 5 for those who are interested in learning more about their products and services.

Locals worried

Robbie Zwicker, Hantsport’s councillor and former mayor, said he’s disappointed that the Scotiabank branch is leaving Main Street.

“I am hoping anyone who wishes to continue banking in person in Hantsport will visit the Valley Credit Union,” Zwicker said. “VCU has stepped up big time to support our community.”

“I hope someone takes advantage of the great location Scotiabank has in Hantsport, who knows maybe VCU will move in,” he added. 

Jane Kerr, a resident of Hantsport and client of the Scotiabank branch said she’s concerned for the elderly members of the community who will have to commute to do their banking.

“Our mortgage and stuff is through there, we got our camper through there, my husband has a chequing account there,” Kerr said. “It’s unfortunate, there’s a lot of elderly residents in Hantsport, where it’s really convenient to have a bank right next door to the grocery store.”

“It’s not so bad for people who are going into Windsor all the time, but for the older generation it’s going to a be a pain for them,” she said.

Kerr, who is also a board member of the Hantsport Music Festival, said she’s also worried about a potential reduction in community fundraising.

“I already bank at the Credit Union myself anyway, but all of our big accounts are through Scotiabank,” she said. “Right now, I guess the plan is to stay with Scotiabank for now, but we have talked about switching our accounts to the credit union, where they’re right in town.”

After talking with her neighbours, Kerr said she wouldn’t be surprised if many Hantsport Scotiabank clients move their accounts to the Valley Credit Union. 

Recent Stories