May 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Bas-Saint-Laurent: 10 Desjardins service centers will close their doors

Bas-Saint-Laurent: 10 Desjardins service centers will close their doors

Ten Desjardins service centers will close their doors in Bas-Saint-Laurent in two months, TVA Nouvelles has learned that a significant reduction in service will cause the affected municipalities to react strongly.

“This is a huge blow! We work to develop as much as possible in our respective municipalities, so when we hear news like this, it really hurts us,” said the mayor of Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimouski, Georges Deschênes.

Like nine other municipalities in the region, Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimouski will lose its window and cashier counter next June.

“In principle, the funds are at the service of the small savers, we ask ourselves – “Are the funds still at the service of the small savers?” we have the right to ask ourselves as a member,” added Mr. Deschenes.

With these closures, the financial institution continues its digital transformation, which aims to eliminate 30% of service points and counters in three years.

“We have to make difficult decisions, which are difficult to understand at first, but we will provide the best financial services at the best possible cost to all members of Desjardins,” explained regional representative Nicolas Servant-Caron. Desjardins and president of the board of directors of Caisse du Temiskovata.

The 10 service centers in Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimauschi, Saint-Fabian, Saint-Éloi, Saint-Mathieu-de-Rioux, Saint-Clément, Rivière-Bleu, Saint-Louis du are targeted for closure between now and June. Ha! Ha!, Saint-Epiphan, Saint-Modeste and Saint-Arsen.

Two service centers, Notre-Dame-du-Lac and Saint-Luce, will also undergo some transformations, which will reduce the services offered.

Desjardins Group says these changes were made because members' habits have changed.

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According to the financial institution, province-wide, the use of cashier counters now represents only 1% of transactions and counters account for more than 3%.

“Knowing this, we need to analyze our distribution network and make sure it's the right formula,” suggests Mr Servant-Carron.

Without providing local data, a Desjardins regional representative indicated on Monday that the same trends were being observed across the province.

“We don't have data for our own fund, but we're going to look at some. We hope it's true, it's well thought out, we'll ask questions,” added the mayor of Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimauschy.

Cross traders

For traders in the small municipality of just over 1,100 people, the decision was a no-brainer.

“Customers need it! Seniors need it, they all work with cash,” underlined Stéphane Ouellet, President of Service Clément Ouellet in Saint-Gabriel.

The villages around Saint-Gabriel-De-Rimouski have had no Desjardins counters for many years.

“This is not fair to us, the surrounding villages have nothing! They come to help, for deposits, for the counter, without which it is useless to live!” he added.

Minimize the effects

To make this transition easier for members affected by these closures, Desjardins has promised to put several solutions in place.

“Checkout teams are already in action to contact affected members. […] We explore opportunities with them, be it training on the use of digital technology or arranging transport to other service centres,” explained Mr Servant-Caron.

Following these closures and transformations, Bas-Saint-Laurent will have 26 service centers.

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