The Island Savings Ladysmith branch is permanently closed (Cole Schisler photo)

The Island Savings Ladysmith branch is permanently closed (Cole Schisler photo)

Island Savings closes Ladysmith branch

Ladysmith branch members can be served by the Chemainus branch

Island Savings has announced that its Ladysmith branch, which has been temporarily closed since mid-March due to COVID-19, will not reopen.

In a press release, Island Savings president Kendall Gross said that the decision to close the branch was made because credit union members are doing the bulk of their banking online.

“This behavioural shift has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, we are consolidating our branch network, investing in technology and creating new front-line roles to meet the evolving needs of our members and remain a financially strong member-owned co-operative during a time of considerable economic uncertainty,” Gross said.

With the closure of the Ladysmith branch, the nearest location for credit union members is the Chemainus branch. Members will also be served by Island Savings’ Member Advice Centre and digital banking platforms.

Island Savings will maintain their ATM and night deposit at the Ladysmith location for the foreseeable future.

“We very much appreciate the flexibility of our Ladysmith members over the last six months while the branch has been closed,” Gross said. “Island Savings remains committed to the co-operative principle of returning profits to its communities, supporting members and local organizations in the area.”

On the same day that Island Savings announced the closure of their Ladysmith branch, they also announced a $25,000 donation to the Ladysmith Public Library, as well as future commitments to community organizations including Ladysmith Family and Friends (LaFF) and the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association Food Bank (through The Full Cupboard Program).

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The credit union said that several Ladysmith branch employees have transitioned to other opportunities within the organization.