Royal Bank of Canada to close New Germany branch


  • <p>SOURCE: GOOGLE MAPS</p><p>The Royal Bank of Canada is closing this branch in New Germany, Lunenburg County, this summer.</p>

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch in New Germany is closing this summer because of a significant and continuous drop in business at the Highway 10 facility, the financial institution says.

When the office closes July 16, it marks the end of branch banking in the community, leaving customers to seek in-person services in other places. For RBC patrons, it means driving 25 kilometres to Bridgewater.

"While many New Germany clients are obviously using other channels like online, telephone and our mobile app to do their banking, we know this decision will be challenging for others," Brent Aitken, a RBC regional vice-president, told LighthouseNOW in an email.

"We understand that and are committed to working with each and every client to find a solution that works for them. In fact, our teams have already started reaching out to New Germany clients virtually and by phone."

Terry Meisner of Maplewood received one of those calls.

"This really leaves the people of this area - as a great deal are seniors - without any way to pay bills or cash cheques," he told LighthouseNOW in an email.

"There is a cash machine at the Irving in New Germany but this only allows you to withdraw money."

The plan is to sell the New Germany building, Aitken said, but timing and details are to be determined. The property has market assessment of $179,000. There are no job losses associated with closure, framed as a consolidation with RBC's Bridgewater branch.

"Even though our physical presence may be changing, our commitment to delivering superior advice and solutions to our clients remains the same," Aitken added. "Clients will continue to be served by our experienced and professional staff from the New Germany branch as all of our employees will keep their jobs at a branch of their choice in central and western Nova Scotia."

Cathy Moore, the municipal politician who represents New Germany, called the pending closure a huge loss to her community.

"For over 100 years people have had the convenience of in-branch banking in New Germany and shopping at our local businesses," she commented to LighthouseNOW in an email. "It was easy to do and not a lot of traffic and no intersection lights to deal with especially for seniors."

A review over a year ago of the New Germany branch showed dramatic changes in client behaviour, Aitken explained.

Technological advances paved the way for faster, and more convenient, digital banking options, which translates to reduced use of office branches.

"Specifically, the business at the branch has been steadily and significantly decreasing every year for the past number of years," said Aitken. "After careful consideration, we made the decision to consolidate the New Germany branch with our Bridgewater branch on July 16, 2021."

RBC still plans to support community programs in the New Germany area, such as with donations and, once able, in-person volunteering.

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