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

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

TVA Nouvelles has learned that ten Desjardins service centers will close their doors in Basse-Saint-Laurent within two months, a significant reduction in service that is causing the affected municipalities to react strongly.

“It's a huge blow! We work hard in our municipalities to develop as much as possible, so when we hear news like this, it really hurts,” said the mayor of San Gabriel de Rimouski, Georges Deschenes.

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

“In principle, the money was at the service of small savers, and we ask ourselves the question: “Is the money still at the service of small savers?” “We have the right to ask ourselves that question as a member,” Mr. Deschenes added.

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

“We have to make difficult decisions, which may be difficult to understand at first, but we must always ensure that we provide the best financial services at the best possible cost to all Desjardins members,” said Nicolas Servant Caron, regional spokesman for Desjardins. Desjardins and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Caisse du Témiscouata.

The 10 service centers targeted for closure between now and June are Saint Gabriel de Rimouski, Saint Fabien, Saint Elois, Saint Mathieu do Rio, Saint Clement, Rivière Bleu and Saint Louis de. Ha! Ha!, St. Epiphanes, St. Modest, and St. Arsene.

Two service centres, Notre Dame du Lac and Saint Luce, will also undergo some transformations that will reduce the services provided.

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Desjardins' group stated that these changes had to be made due to changing habits of members.

According to the financial institution, at the governorate level, the use of teller counters now represents only 1% of transactions, and the counters are more than 3%.

“Knowing this, we had to analyze our distribution network and then determine that it was the ideal formula,” noted Mr. Servant Caron.

Without providing local data, Desjardins' regional spokesman noted on Monday that the same trends were observed across the province.

“We don't have data on our own fund, but we will look for some. We hope this is true, that it is well thought out, and we will ask questions,” added the mayor of San Gabriel de Rimouski.

Traders are at odds

For traders in the small municipality with a population of just over 1,100 people, this decision is nonsense.

“Customers need it! Seniors need it, they all work with cash,” said Stéphane Ouellet, president of Clement Ouellet Service in San Gabriel.

The villages around San Gabriel de Rimouski have not had Desjardins meters for several years.

“It's not fair to us, the surrounding villages have nothing! They are always here to help, for deposits, for the counter, living without that is useless!” he added.

Reduce the effects

To make this change easier for members affected by these closures, Desjardins promises to put several solutions in place.

“Exit teams are already working to contact affected members. […] “We are exploring opportunities with them, and it could be training in the use of digital technology or even creating transportation to other service centres,” Mr. Servant Caron explained.

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After these closures and transformations, Bass Saint Laurent will have 26 service centers.