Access Credit Union recently announced the closure of its Oak Bluff branch as of Dec. 31, 2019.
"We have decided we will relocate to Sanford," said president and chief executive officer Larry Davey. The closure will impact about 2,500 Oak Bluff branch members.
The Oak Bluff and Sanford branches operated under Sanford Credit Union until an amalgamation with Access CU in Jan. 1, 2013.
Two factors are determining the closure of the Oak Bluff branch, according Davey.
He said, unlike Access CU’s other 17 branches, the Oak Bluff space on Highway 3 is leased. Access CU is in the process of what Davey describes as "creating a new member experience" at its branches and this wouldn’t be possible at the Oak Bluff branch.
The second factor is uncertainty over Manitoba Infrastructure’s long-term plans for constructing an overpass near the Highway 3 and Perimeter Highway intersection in Oak Bluff close to where the branch is located.
"We don’t want to be in the position of wondering where that overpass is going."
Davey said all staff now working in the Oak Bluff branch will have the chance to transfer to Sanford or another one of the Access CU branches.
The ATM now located in Oak Bluff will be moved to the Sanford branch, Davey said.
While Oak Bluff residents wanting to visit a branch will have to drive about 15 kilometres to Sanford beginning in January, Davey said the vast majority of members’ day-to-day transactions aren’t conducted within a branch now.
With all the options of electronic banking available to Access CU members, just four per cent of Oak Bluff members’ transactions are conducted within the branch itself, he said. Oak Bluff and all Access CU members can use any Manitoba credit union’s ATM for deposits, withdrawals or other transactions without a service fee charged.
Davey said Access’s Carman branch is now being renovated to reflect the credit union’s new focus on meeting specific customer needs. This pilot will eventually be recreated at the other Access CU branches including Sanford.
He said Access CU’s commitment to supporting the Oak Bluff community will continue.
For more information on Access CU and the upcoming branch closure, call 1-800-264-2926 or see https://accesscu.ca/Personal
Community journalist — The Headliner
Andrea Geary is the community journalist for The Headliner. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org Call her at 204-697-7124