Rosthern seniors recently picked up some valuable tips on a couple of hot topics.
Rosthern Fire Chief Darcy Hrycuik outlined the basics of fire prevention and fire safety at an informational seminar at the Rosthern Seniors Centre on Wednesday, October 4.
Affinity Credit Union (ACU) will be pulling up stakes from its Dalmeny branch on June 30 and no one is particularly happy about it.
“I’m very, very disappointed from the town’s perspective because of the convenience we’ve enjoyed for so long,” said mayor Jon Kroeker. “There was a lot of disappointment expressed.” Some businesses in town were not pleased because they will now have to do something different with their night drops. The ATM will stay.
“Yet, I think many of us can see that, from a business perspective, Affinity needs to make the best decisions that they can for their own best interest,” Kroeker added.
In their March 1 news release, Mark Lane, Affinity Credit Union Chief Executive Officer said, “The decision to close a branch is very difficult. While branches have historically been the centerpiece of a member’s relationship with their credit union, that reality has changed. Members increasingly use other channels, particularly for transactional-based needs. Online and mobile banking are clearly preferred, and the credit union needs to adapt in terms of our investment in these channels.”
Dalmeny town council called a public meeting to allow ACU to explain their reasoning further and invite residents to bring their questions. At the meeting, they heard that the volume of business at the Dalmeny branch was significantly below the average level of most rural branches.
ACU reported that close to 70 per cent of daily transactions in Dalmeny are digital, which has taken a lot of the traffic out of the branch. “The amount of business the Dalmeny branch has been seeing has been on a steady decline for a number of years,” Kroeker said.
The town had a couple of concerns with the departure of ACU. One was what would happen to the employees at the branch. “We have two employees that are from Dalmeny. One is going to Langham and one is going to Martensville, so they’re being looked after,” Kroeker said.
Another concern was for the seniors in town, who are more accustomed to doing in-branch banking, and may not be as likely to do business online. Kroeker said the Dalmeny Seniors Club was well represented at the meeting and brought a petition saying they don’t want ACU to leave, which got 31 signatures as of the meeting date of March 29.
Although Dalmeny is a growing bedroom community, that fact was not mirrored in traffic at the bank. “With us being a bedroom community, we have so many of our residents driving into the city on a daily basis. It’s just too convenient for us to bank in the city,” Kroeker said. There’s really no incentive for those people to switch to ACU. “We’re having growth in town but we’re having a decline in business in the bank.”
Kroeker said Affinity is going to be calling every Dalmeny ACU account holder to facilitate the transition as smoothly as they can.
Following a lengthy review, Affinity Credit Union has made the decision to close the Aberdeen and Dalmeny branches in June 2017.
“The decision to close a branch is very difficult,” said Mark Lane, Affinity Credit Union Chief Executive Officer. “While branches have historically been the centerpiece of a member’s relationship with their credit union, that reality has changed. Members increasingly use other channels, particularly for transactional-based needs. Online and mobile banking are clearly preferred, and the credit union needs to adapt in terms of our investment in these channels.”
Affinity employees will work with individuals and businesses in the community over the next few months to identify service options and help them through these changes.
“All members are very important to us and our goal is to provide the very best experience for them – whether at another Affinity location, through mobile, online or telephone banking, through mobile specialists or our personalized Contact Centre,” added Lane.
Affinity has a keen focus on investing in new technologies and processes that meet the changing needs of members. “We want to ensure that we can offer our members price-competitive products, services and technology that’s relevant to their lifestyles – we really are in a rapidly-changing period as an industry,” said Lane.