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Mayor mystified by missing bank staff

By Mark Squibb/January 13, 2022

The Royal Bank in Holyrood is not closed permanently, says Holyrood town council, though Mayor Gary Goobie says it could do a better job of communicating with its customers.

Councilor Curtis Buckle raised the concern during the Tuesday night meeting, saying the town should reach out to RBC to ascertain why the bank is closed, and when, or if, it will open again. He noted the bank has been closed for some time, and a sign posted at the bank simply said it was closed due to a shortage of staff, but would reopen later in January. He noted many people prefer to do their banking in person rather than electronically, and further still, some may not be able to drive to the Royal Bank in CBS.

That was when Deputy Mayor Michele Woodford said she had already reached out to the Conception Bay South branch and a staff person told her the bank in Holyrood was closed because staff members were taking their annual vacation.

“They have to use up so much of their vacation, or they’re going to lose it,” said Woodford. “So, you have a lot of people on vacation right now and they’re working on a skeleton crew. Of course, I was concerned as well, because you hear rumors that the bank is not opening up in Holyrood but that’s not true, the bank is staying in Holyrood, they are reopening on the 24th, right now, pending that all of the annual vacation is used and that people are coming back to work.”

Mayor Gary Gooble joked that Buckle stole his thunder in bringing up the bank closure, as he had intended to raise it. Goobie said that while speaking with MHA Helen Conway-Ottenheimer’s office about potholes along Route 60, he was asked if he knew anything about the situation, at which time he did not.

“And the only thing that I can say is that the Royal Bank could do a better job in their public relations department,” said Goobie. “They have customers from Colliers right to Holyrood, parts of Conception Bay South, and in around St. Mary’s, and for some of those folks, customers, some of them long time, long serving customers, they probably make that trip from St. Mary’s to come to the bank, only to find out there’s a sign on the door saying we’re closed. And in my personal opinion, I don’t think that’s good enough. I think they could have communicated that a little better, with their customers, in advance. Regardless of the situation that caused or precipitated this closure, temporarily, I think they could have done a better job of communicating with their customers, if they want to keep them. I deal with the Royal Bank as well, and I didn’t receive anything, I didn’t even know about it, so it’s disappointing, to say the least.”

Councilor Laura Crawley said that she had heard of the same situation unfolding in other communities too, such as Placentia.

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