Local clients weigh in on Carman TD branch closure

Emily Stobbe-Wiebe

Carman’s TD Canada Trust bank branch is set to close August 18. (EMILY STOBBE-WIEBE)

Carman’s TD Canada Trust bank branch is set to close August 18. (EMILY STOBBE-WIEBE)

The TD Canada Trust bank in Carman will be closing its doors August 18 after nearly 40 years of service in the area, and clients are not happy with the decision.

TD Bank was not directly available for comment, but provided this written statement:

“Our TD branch in Carman, Manitoba, has been helping customers in the area since 1976. We have unfortunately seen an overall decline in how the Carman branch is used for everyday transactions. After a careful and in-depth review of the customer traffic patterns, we’ve made the difficult decision to merge this location with our branch in Portage la Prairie. The new branch has more parking, longer hours, and is open six days a week. We will work with our customers and businesses to try to make this transition as easy as possible to the new branch and to continue using all the banking options available to them like ATM, phone, and internet banking. This move will affect approximately four employees. We will be working closely with our employees from now until the merger on August 18 to identify other roles for them.”

Client reactions

Many clients of the bank are disappointed about the closure. Local resident Johnny Lebeau, a TD customer since he was a teenager, is one such client.

“We have always been extremely satisfied with the service there,” said Lebeau. “The people have always been personable, friendly and efficient. Even when we lived in Winkler and only came into this branch once a month or less, they always remembered us and made us feel like people, not just numbers. This bank was even a deciding factor for us when we were deciding which town to move to.

“We’re obviously quite disappointed that they’re leaving Carman.”

Bob Wilson, a client at TD since 1978, sees the closure of the Carman branch as a loss to the community.

“I am not happy with the closing, on both a personal and community level,” he said. “Besides it being a major inconvenience, it also hurts our community. Every time a business leaves, the town dies a little.”

Earlier in the year, customers were informed about the impending closure through a letter and informational session in February and April, said Wilson.

“They told us nothing that we didn’t know already. . . Our suggestion about leaving an ATM in town was dismissed without discussion,” he said. “It was mostly a waste of time except for the cookies.”

Decisions about whether to continue banking with TD or to find somewhere else to do business are mixed.

Long-distance relationship?

“We’ve done long distance banking in the past and we’d rather not do it again,” said Lebeau. “We’ve chosen another bank in town to switch over to.”

Wilson, on the other hand, is thinking of staying on with TD through the use of an ATM and online banking.

“I will probably keep my personal accounts with TD when they are moved to the Portage branch. I cannot move my investments until they mature, so an occasional trip to Portage will be needed anyway,” he said.

Wilson’s business banking is another matter.

“However, we are currently looking for a new home for our business banking. We had already been thinking about making a move in the near future and this situation just increased the urgency a little,” he said.

“Our business still deals with a ‘cash’ clientele to some extent and we need to be able to make deposits locally. Numerous trips to the new branch are not an option.”