In an effort to take advantage of the current trend toward all things analog, a new area bank is offering customers service that harkens to another time.
“With the resurgence of vinyl records, paper books, coffee percolators and cheesy facial hair, we decided the time was right for an analog banking experience,” said Bertrand Dawes, manager of the Yorkton branch of the Foam Lake-Usherville-Canora-Kamsack Fidelity Feduciary Bank.
The bank, operating under the motto “Prudent, Fruitful, Frugal Investment,” does not have computers, bank machines or credit cards and is only open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday.
“I started in this business with TD-Canada Trust, which is open evenings and Saturdays, so I never really understood what the phrase “bankers’ hours” was all about until now,” Dawes said. “But the staff actually works from nine-to-five; we need all that extra time to do all the accounting stuff the computers used to do.”
Dawes said the toughest part of getting the bank off the ground was sourcing supplies and equipment.
“Finding parchment ledgers, quills and inkwells was difficult, but we found a supplier in Kathmandu, Tibet, apparently some of the monks there still do things the old way,” he noted.
Customers, mostly from the millennial crowd, appear to be enjoying the experience.
“I love the long line-ups to see a teller,” said 25-year-old Mayguhn Poppins. “Everybody complains, just like on Facebook, but the people are literally right there, like, in person.”
Kuyawl Banks, 27, sees a financial benefit.
“It’s awesome, like, if I want to go out on Saturday, I have to, like, literally, make it to the bank before two on Friday and take out cash,” he explained. “Then if I run out of money, I can’t spend anymore. I’m saving a bundle.”
It is not just youngsters who like it, however.
Olga Kravetz, who just turned 93 last week, goes in for the atmosphere.
“The tellers are all men and they are very patronizing and condescending,” she said. “It makes me feel like a girl again.”
The only inauthentic element of the new bank is that everybody isn’t smoking all the time.
“We put in ashtrays, but they’re only ornamental,” Dawes said. “We couldn’t get around the provincial law.”