7 News Archive
Community branch bank closes doors
By Ulli Diemer
Seven News, July 1984

The Community Branch of the Royal Bank on Queen near Logan is closing its doors on August 17.

The branch was established in the mid ’70s in response to wide-spread criticism that banks were aloof and remote, geared mainly to the needs of corporate clients rather than working class people or small businesses. The Royal’s Community Branch was an experiment in presenting a friendlier, more accessible face.

The branch featured later hours, to make it possible for people to go to the bank after work, a small sitting room in which customers or their friends could wait or chat, and various other efforts to make the bank more comfortable and convenient.

The experiment seemed to be popular with local residents, but it always remained an isolated exception rather than the precursor of changes in the banking world. The trend, in fact, has been in the opposite direction, the closing of many local bank branches, longer line-ups, and more reliance on machines.

Small businesses have found more obstacles put in the way of arranging financing through banks. And now the Royal’s Community Branch is itself falling victim to the trend: it is being rationalized out of existence, and all accounts are being moved to the branch at Queen and Broadview.

This article was published in Seven News, Volume 15, Number 2, July 1984

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