BMO closing campus branch in March

The Bank of Montreal is closing its only branch on the University of New Brunswick Fredericton campus on March 22, 2019.

Aaron Naccarato, the regional vice-president of West New Brunswick at BMO, said the branch is closing to “provide a wider range of financial services to meet our clients’ needs,” in an email to The Aquinian.

Naccarato said BMO has directed clients to their nearest branch on Prospect Street, however their ATMs will remain on campus.

“We are committed to working with our customers to ensure that the transition goes smoothly.”

The bank is located on Dineen Drive, in the same building as the campus bookstore and pharmacy, and caters to everyone, but the majority of clients are university faculty and students.

Cassandra Pitchford, a third-year mechanical engineering major at UNB signed up for a chequing account with BMO in 2016. She said she understands why the bank is leaving.

“It was extremely convenient because [with] BMO on campus, it meant I would have free access to their ABM that dispenses $10 bills,” Pitchford said in a Facebook message.

“I’m sad the bank is leaving, but I understand the cost of keeping a branch like this open.”

Kurvin Silvio, a first-year St. Thomas University student who lives in residence, signed up for a student account when he moved to New Brunswick from Mauritius.

Without a vehicle, Silvio must use the ATMs on campus or take the bus to the Prospect Street branch.

“[The bank on campus] was the closest branch and whenever I needed some info about my account, it was close by to go in between classes,” he said in a Facebook message.

“Also, waiting in line is not as bad as in the other branches nearby.”

Although students are coping with the loss of the bank, Mark Walma, the assistance vice-president student services at UNB, said the university will be “considering what options exist to have banking services on campus,” in an email to The Aquinian.

UNB has enjoyed a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with the Bank of Montreal over the years. While we are sad to see that come to an end. We understand BMO has reasons behind the decision as the service model in the banking industry is undergoing changes.”

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