UPDATE 2:10 p.m.:
The Review received this statement from CIBC’s Jon Kastikainen, senior manager, stakeholder communications.
“As more and more Canadians in both rural and urban areas are choosing to do their banking outside of traditional banking centres, we’ve needed to make some adjustments to our network and recently made the difficult decision to close our Keremeos Banking Centre and consolidate it with our Osoyoos Banking Centre on March 22, 2018.
We will automatically transfer clients’ existing accounts to the Osoyoos Banking Centre with no disruption in service. While many clients in Keremeos are already banking online or by phone, our team in Keremeos and Osoyoos will spend time with clients in the coming months to help them learn more about these options for their everyday banking. We currently have six employees in Keremeos and are working with them to find opportunities available within CIBC.
CIBC is holding a community meeting open to the public on December 7, 2017 from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at the Victory Hall in Keremeos. Leaders from CIBC will be on hand to answer questions about the closure and discuss the transition to ensure clients have the information they need.”
Keremeos is being added to the growing list of CIBC bank closures across the country.
Signs were posted at the bank institution this week stating the branch would close within the next six months.
When the Review called the bank Wednesday morning, an employee confirmed the bank is closing.
It’s unknown how many jobs will be lost, or if employees will be offered opportunities at other branches.
The Review has calls and emails out and is waiting for official comment from CIBC.
Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer told the Review he’s spoken to and received a letter on the closure from higher ups in the CIBC organization.
“Anytime a business is closing in town it’s sad news. It impacts our residences as well as people who work there,” he said. “It seems to me that the CIBC has already made up their minds and has not engaged in the consulting process with the community before they make their decisions.”
He’s been told a community meeting is scheduled for Dec. 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The meeting is to provide options for customer’s going forward, not about whether the bank will close.
“When they already have decided they are going to close the bank, it seems to be something they need to do,” Bauer said. “It also seems that obviously they care more about shareholders and investors than they care about their customers.”
The letter Bauer received stated Keremeos customers will be moved to the Osoyoos CIBC.
A google search of CIBC turned up a long list of closures over the last few years including branches in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The CIBC is not the only bank in Keremeos. The Valley First, a Division of First West Credit Union also services the community.
The Review will update this story as more information becomes available.