A sign greeting RBC customers at the downtown Vernon branch tells of the institution’s move to a different location come September. (Jennifer Blake - Morning Star)

Financial – and Vernon – institution leaving downtown

RBC has been located in downtown Vernon for more than 100 years but is moving come September

It’s part of downtown Vernon’s Bank Corner, at the intersection of 30th Avenue and 32nd Street.

RBC, or the Royal Bank, sits on the northwest corner, directly across from CIBC, and was diagonally across the way from Bank of Montreal, or BMO, which has since moved south down 32nd Street.

After 114 years – and 105 at the current location in Vernon’s downtown core – RBC has announced to customers it’s moving the branch to its The Shops at Polson Park branch, effective this fall.

“On Sept. 13, this branch is moving,” says a notice posted in the window. “We look forward to welcoming you at our Polson Place branch.”

The downtown RBC will close at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

“It was a difficult decision that was not taken lightly,” said Pam Shaw, RBC’s regional vice-president for the Okanagan and Kootenays. “We’re not leaving. We are staying in Vernon and we’re continuing to evolve.”

Shaw said local and regional RBC leaders met to determine how to best serve the Greater Vernon region with three branches located within five kilometres of one another (downtown, Polson Park, Village Green Centre). Shaw said membership at the downtown branch has been in decline, and that 65 per cent of members of the downtown branch go to the other two branches for their banking needs.

Asked if Vernon’s downtown issues with safety and vagrancy played a role in the decision, Shaw said no.

“It’s everywhere,” she said of the issues. Shaw oversees 21 RBCs in her region.

Shaw added RBC client patterns are changing, with more people doing banking online or on their smartphones so they don’t have to go into a branch.

Shaw said the company still wants people to come into the banks and deal with humans. Nobody from the downtown branch will lose their job. All staff will be moved to one of the other two Vernon locations.

“We’re going to have two fully staffed branches,” said Shaw.

The Shops at Polson Park branch will close for three weeks for renovations from May 31 to June 24 to prepare for the relocation of the downtown branch. People can do their banking at the other two branches, and a trailer will be set up at the Polson branch to help clients there. People will still have access to their safety deposit boxes.

Another concern addressed by RBC about leaving downtown is what that means for Vernon’s seniors population, of which many live near the downtown core. The company understands that many clients have been coming into the bank for years so, with the impending move, RBC plans to take their bank to the seniors.

“We hope to have something set up at a seniors centre before we make the move,” said Shaw. “With technology, we’ll be able to help seniors look at their statements or help them pay a bill. We can do a lot.”

Shaw said RBC won’t totally be leaving the downtown as some full-service ATM machines will be placed in the core after the consolidation of the two branches.

As for the building, which RBC owns, Shaw said they’ve tried unsuccessfully for five years to lease it out, and the building will be put up for sale.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon Women’s Transition House responds to RCMP interrogation video of sexual assault victim

“When we saw the interview, we were heartbroken, frustrated, and furious because this was such an egregious handling of a really traumatic situation for a teenager.”

UPDATE: RCMP continue to investigate fatal crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

WildsafeBC comes to the Okanagan to reduce wildlife conflict

Bear activity on the Westside has been an issue in the past few weeks

Pesticide use in Vernon park prompts warning

Civilian goes out of his way to post caution signs

Familiar advocate now executive director at Vernon’s Upper Room Mission

Nicole Makohoniuk has been named to the position, bringing with her a wealth of experience

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Okanagan city to give out fines for sitting on sidewalk

Residents of Penticton will soon be fined for sitting or laying on sidewalks

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

BC Wildfire Service to send 267 firefighters to Alberta

Sufficient personnel, resources remain in B.C. to respond to any fire activity

Car crashes into semi-truck in West Kelowna

Highway 97 heading northbound by Boucherie Rd. closed

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Most Read