It’s a process that began in April and now Cassie Populaire Alliance has announced that businesses and residents of West Ferris will see a return of face-to-face financial services.

For years West Ferris has been home to the TD and Scotiabank, but earlier in time, both banks announced their departures from the area.

Norm St-Amor, the regional manager for the Caisse, said during Tuesday’s announcement that when Scotiabank announced its departure, “we saw an opportunity to serve an underserviced area of the community”.

St-Amor says the Caisse crunched the numbers in terms of securing a customer base and with a population of 12,000 people West Ferris has the numbers to support a financial institution.

“We looked at the traffic count,” he said.

“There are 9,000 cars a day that come down Lakeshore Drive, that’s a lot of people.  Also, people from Callander come through Lakeshore to get to their banks.”

St-Amor says the Caisse’s new outlet will operate from the former Scotiabank site in the Nipissing Plaza.

Norm St-Amor announcing the arrival of a Caisse Populaire Alliance outlet in West Ferris. Photo credit: Rocco Frangione

Renovations at the former bank are underway and the goal is for the Caisse to have the open-for-business sign in place by next March or April.

St-Amor expects the new outlet to start with three to five employees with the hope that number will grow to eight or nine people.

As for a customer base, St-Amor is confident the Caisse will see about 350 new accounts in the first year and then an additional 1,000 to 1,500 accounts over the first five years.

The Caisse, which has been in North Bay for 75 years, currently has an outlet on Cassells with about 7,000 customers and there are no plans to close that site.

Once the West Ferris outlet opens next year St-Amor says it means financial services for people and businesses right “in their own backyard”.

“They won’t have to cross the overpass or deal with traffic issues.  We’re coming to their neighbourhood to offer a full range of financial services in both languages.”

St-Amor says the Caisse has created a website at www.chequeintoit.ca that will provide information about its services and updates on the new site.