Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 05.11.04
Stanstead, Quebec


CIBC: Take the money and run

News item: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce announces plans to close its 100-year-old branch in Danville, QC. A public information meeting is to be held in May but the closure is a done deal, bank rep says.

Welcome to the CIBC Disgruntled Customer Hotline. For service in English, press 1. For service in French, press 2. If you are a rural customer, press 3 and we will try and talk a little slower for you.

If your local branch has been slated to close, please stay on the line. All our representatives are busy dealing with customers from other rural communities that our banking institution has already abandoned. In the meantime, please enjoy a selection of music.

For "Take the Money and Run" sung by Corporate Creep and the CEOs, press 1. For "I Got Plenty of Nothing" sung by the Passbook Paupers, press 2.

If you are incensed, press 1; if you are outraged, press 2; if you are aghast, agog, or apoplectic, press 3. To hear a pre-recorded condescending message on how, really, you're probably blowing this news way out of proportion, press 4.

If you are used to dealing with bank tellers face to face and would like to learn about Tele-Banking or Online Banking, please press * for step-by-step-by-step-by-step instructions on such aspects as setting your password, forgetting your password, reacquiring a new password, determining which banking option you actually need, trying again, trying yet again, how to use the Internet, what is the Internet, and finally how to reach a real person.

For insurance purposes, please ensure you have taken your blood-pressure medication before beginning.

If because of a branch closure you must now leave your community to do your banking in another town, press 3 to learn about CIBC's small personal loans to cover the cost of gas and wear on tear on your car.

If you own a small business in a town where a CIBC branch is closing and expect to lose customers because they will now make their purchases elsewhere while doing their banking in another town, press 4 to receive a copy of our brochure "CIBC: We Put the 'Bank' in 'Bankruptcy'."

If you are a landlord currently leasing your building to a CIBC branch slated for closure, press 5 to learn about CIBC small business loans to purchase plywood for boarding up broken windows as well as other building supplies required to give your building that authentic "ghost town" look.

To hear a breakdown of CIBC's first-quarter profits of $609 million, press 6. To learn how shutting down small branches contributed to those profits, press 7. To purchase stock in CIBC so you too can benefit from our systematic abandonment of rural communities, press 8.

If you are a current employee of a CIBC branch slated for closure, press # to learn about other employment opportunities with the CIBC, such as the poor suckers we schlep out to public meetings to bear the brunt of abuse from customers our executives don't have the guts to face themselves.

If you are a municipal or chamber of commerce representative looking to start a petition to keep your local branch open, press 9 to receive helpful examples of the many other petitions we have received from across the country and subsequently ignored.

If you are a longtime customer of CIBC and would like to know how we could simply pull out of a community that has supported the bank and counted on it for its financial security as well as its day-to-day business affairs for generations, please hang up now because you won't be getting any satisfactory answers here or elsewhere any time soon.

Thank you for choosing CIBC. Have a nice day.