The Bank of Montreal held a public information meeting on November 21 to answer questions about the upcoming closure of its Huntingdon branch.
A presentation was given by BMO regional vice-president Katy DeGrandpré to a crowded room at the Huntingdon Legion. “This is a difficult situation,” she said. “We recognize that this change is significant for this community and that it will be hard.” Nonetheless, she confirmed the decision to close the bank on April 26 was final, and that all accounts will be transferred to the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield branch.
DeGrandpré said that final decision was made over the summer; the town of Huntingdon was not consulted. The bank’s imposing building on Chateauguay Street will be put up for sale.
She acknowledged that travelling to Valleyfield might be difficult or impossible for some clients, but guaranteed the local team will help with the transition, both to the new location and to virtual banking, as Huntingdon’s full-service ATM will also be removed.
During a question period that followed the presentation, clients focused on ATM access, withdrawals, and deposits, as well as accessibility issues with the Valleyfield branch. One participant referred to the decision as shortsighted, considering Huntingdon’s booming population. “This is a real blow,” she said.
Concern was also expressed for local employees. DeGrandpré reiterated the bank will help with the transition; she said several Huntingdon employees will transfer to Valleyfield, while others will be relocated elsewhere.