TD Bank closes Creemore branch

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Many members of the community are angered by news this week that the Creemore branch of TD Canada Trust is closing.

Early this week signs were posted in the branch and customer letters arrived by mail informing people of the “move”.

“I’m writing to let you know that your branch located at 181 Mill St., in Creemore will be moving to 7267 Highway 26 in Stayner,” writes district vice president Tara Clarke. “We regret any inconvenience that the distance to this branch may cause you.”

The letter encouraging people to utilize online services and telephone banking goes on to say, “Rest assured that this move will be smooth and straightforward and that your banking arrangements, pre-authorized payments and direct deposits will not change. Providing you with the most comfortable banking experience and the best customer service will continue to be our priority.”

Creemore bank manager Anthony Gagliardi referred The Echo to TD Corporate and Public Affairs for comment.

“We regularly review our branch presence and consider a number of factors before making the difficult decision to merge branches. After a careful review of a number of factors including declining transactions in this location, our Mill Street branch will be moving to our branch in Stayner on May 4, 2018. We have reached out to our customers to inform them of this change to help make the transition as easy as possible, and we are actively working with our employees to identify alternative roles where possible, and so you can expect to see some familiar faces at our Stayner location,” said TD Bank Group spokesperson Carly Libman in an e-mail.

“… We continue to work individually with customers and businesses to address their specific needs and will hold an information session to answer questions ahead of the transition.”

She said TD owns the Creemore location but the process of disposing of the property is not known.

“We are focused on serving our customers, with no changes at the Mill Street location until after the move occurs, and are working to determine an ATM location in Creemore,” said Libman.

TD would not say for certain there will be an ATM and would not say how many employees are affected although we have been told everyone is moving to the Stayner branch.

Word travels fast in Creemore and residents have been unhappy with TD’s decision to leave town. They are concerned about seniors who are uncomfortable with online banking and can’t drive to Stayner. Others say losing the bank is the loss of an essential service.

“The Creemore BIA is saddened and surprised to learn that after more than 100 years of service TD Canada Trusts plans to close our local branch and the sole financial institution in our village. This will be a big change for our community. As the board of directors we aim to help our members and customers access the services they need, as conveniently as possible, to maintain a vibrant business area in our village. To that end we are currently reaching out to banking institutions and politicians, as well as our members, to see if there is anything we can do to help address this issue,” said the Creemore BIA (Business Improvement Area) in a statement.

BIA past president Corey Finkelstein said he and wife Laurie Copeland, owners of Cardboard Castles Children’s Emporium, chose to settle in Creemore because it is a complete community in that it has a post office, pub, grocery store and bank, all within walking distance.

He said he started the petition because the bank is considered a hub of the community.

“I am hoping it deflects a bit of the anger and resentment that is being put to the tellers themselves because it’s not their fault… and I am hoping that the manager will take it to the next level and it will create a dialogue with the district management hoping they will take a closer look at this and figure out a different solution,” said Finkelstein. “Likely the decision is already made but I think if enough people sign the petition and if they have enough support from the community maybe they could reconsider and chose a different path.”

The Bank of Toronto opened in Creemore in 1902 and settled in its current location as the TD bank in 1960. According to local legend, the bank tried to leave town once before and was pressured by local business owners to stay.

“In this town, anything is possible. We have faced many hurdles and we have overcome them. There’s a real community spirit in Creemore,” said Finkelstein. “If any community could make a bank stay I think Creemore could.”

Like many people in town, Finkelstein said with the housing builds on the books for Creemore, including seniors housing, the bank closure could make the village less attractive for potential new residents.

“With all that’s happening in Creemore, it seems like a crazy decision to close the bank,” said Finkelstein. “We are on the cusp of a huge bout of growth in the village.”

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