Guysborough wants meeting with RBC to discuss branch’s future

GUYSBOROUGH: The warden of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) says there have been serious concerns raised about the future of a bank branch here.

Vernon Pitts indicated he’s not hearing positive things in relation to what may be happening to the Guysborough branch of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

During their monthly council meeting on June 17, councillors passed a motion to request representatives from RBC update them on their plans.

Following the meeting, Pitts said they want to put the rumours of permanently reduced hours or a potential closure to rest.

“If you want to instill a panic and dissension in a population, close the banks, [so] that they can’t get their money,” he said. “That is the wrong signal to be sending, and I think we have to keep the lines of communication clear and open.”

At the start of the pandemic, the branch closed, which eventually re-opened to two days a week – which was enough, Pitts said, to send people away to do their banking and spend their money elsewhere.

“They’ll head to Antigonish or Port Hawkesbury, deposit or cash their senior citizen’s pension, [and] they’ll go and they’ll pick up their drugs and their groceries,” he said. “They’re not spending their money in the municipality.”

In a time when it’s more important than ever to support local business, Pitts added that’s hard to do when people already have to go outside the municipality to do their banking.