Petrolia politicians want a meeting with Scotiabank

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The Scotiabank building in Petrolia was built in 1911 and has been home to the bank for 112 years. Heather Wright Photo

Petrolia politicians want a face-to-face meeting with Scotiabank officials after learning the local branch will be closed.

Employees of the Petrolia Line branch were told in mid-October the 112 year-old fixture on Petrolia Line would be closing. Clients were being told the accounts would be “merging” with the Bright’s Grove branch. Sources say the branch will close in the next six months.

The news came around the same time Scotiabank announced it would be cutting about three per cent of its global workforce – about 2,700 staff members across the country.

Scotiabank said the changes are being made “as a result of the bank’s end-to-end digitization, automation, and changes in customers’ day-to-day banking preferences, as well as ongoing efforts to streamline operational processes and create capacity to invest in key growth opportunities.”

The company, which made $2.2 billion last quarter, says the layoffs and sell off of real estate will cost about $310 million with the cost savings being realized in 2025.

Acting Mayor Joel Field is disappointed Scotiabank is leaving Petrolia. 

Field has reached out to the bank’s upper management asking for a meeting to discuss the plan.

“A lot of times their decisions are made, but I think that it’s important for them to understand the impact on our community and we need to tell them the impact on our community,” Field tells The Independent. “Decisions are made at a very high level and I don’t know if it’s going to make any difference and it hasn’t in other small communities – Wyoming being an example of one – but I feel that we need to know their plans for community.”

Field says the loss of Scotiabank not only leaves people without services, they leave behind 112 years of history in the downtown. “Scotiabank has been in the center of town as a beautiful building and served a lot of people so definitely impacting them.”