Safety, cleanliness concerns prompt reduced hours at Campbell River bank ATM

Safety, cleanliness concerns prompt reduced hours at Campbell River bank ATM
Photo credit: Nicholas Pescod

A bank in Campbell River’s downtown core has opted to close its on-site, indoor ATM outside of business hours, citing growing safety and cleanliness concerns.

A Jan. 6 notice posted on the front door of the Royal Bank of Canada on Shoppers Row states the ATM will be open to the public on reduced hours — weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays to 4 p.m., and closed all day Sunday.

“This difficult decision did not take place without much reflection and dialogue amongst multiple parties within RBC,” Annette Sabourin, the bank’s regional vice president for Vancouver Island, told CHEK News. 

“Clients have been escalating the safety issues of the branch for quite some time and we felt this step needed to be taken to protect our clients and employees.”

READ ALSO: 29-year-old charged with murder in beating death of Campbell River homeless man outside RBC

Maintaining a level of safety and cleanliness at the branch over the past 10 years has been a top priority, but staff’s ability to provide a high level of service “has only deteriorated to the point where closure is our only option,” said Matthijs Bruining, branch manager.

“The safety of our clients, staff, and security teams is the priority at this time. We will continue to work within RBC and with local officials to revisit the hours of operation on a regular basis.”

Last fall, Andy Adams, the city’s former mayor, raised concerns about the level of downtown disturbances during a Sept. 6 committee of the whole meeting.

Adams said downtown business operators, including at the nearby Comfort Inn and Berwick By The Sea retirement home, told him that homelessness issues had “escalated to a different level” and were impacting how they do things.

“Everything from shooting up to drinking to defecation to trying to break in. Quite disturbing, and they are very, very concerned,” he told councillors at the time.

In 2019, the city awarded a $200,000 contract for a Portland Loo standalone washroom, which was eventually installed on Shoppers Row — directly across the street from the RBC bank.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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