Mar 31, 2020 - TD Bank Group
Teri Currie: Stepping up for Canadians
By Teri Currie
Group Head, Canadian Personal Banking
In the face of this public health crisis, we said we were going to step up for our customers, colleagues and communities. Over the last few weeks, everyone across TD has been coming together in incredible ways to support Canadians through the crisis.
We are here for our customers during this difficult time. We are providing access to critical banking services and making credit available across all of our channels to our personal and business banking customers. It hasn’t always been easy these past few weeks, but everyone is doing what they can to make a difference, including in our contact centres where we have fielded more than 2 million calls from our customers. To be there for Canadians, it means that many of our frontline colleagues continue to come in to work to serve our customers, and for this, we are making changes to our branches, offices and contact centres for their safety and providing them additional compensation. And, over the last few weeks we have also continued to pay those who are unable to work.
We are providing financial relief to Canadians and have already helped tens of thousands of customers through our TD Helps programs with personalized advice and relief on payments for mortgages, credit cards and personal loans, as well as debt consolidation into lower interest loans. We are moving quickly through the applications, the vast majority, once reviewed, are approved and processed. Our phone lines have been overwhelmed with calls - 10 times more than normal - and we have responded by redeploying colleagues from other areas of TD to help take calls and process applications in TD Helps.
We are responding to the huge need for help by creating online self-serve applications at td.com/covid19 to help deliver relief more quickly. You can now apply for a mortgage deferral online, and self-service options are coming soon for other credit products. In addition, we continue to provide financial assistance and have helped tens of thousands of our customers with their specific needs.
We are adjusting what business as usual looks like, proactively educating our customers on digital tools and shifting our marketing programs to focus only on providing information that can help during this time. And, we have even adjusted our schedule for mailing new debit cards to customers in advance of their card's expiration to prevent disruption in accessing their banking services.
We are supporting relief programs provided by the Canadian Government such as the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, by actively helping customers get enabled on direct deposit so they can receive their benefits as quickly as possible. And, we continue to work with the Government on upcoming programs to help support small and medium sized businesses through this crisis, including relief and providing access to credit. We are also helping the most vulnerable in our communities through our collaboration with the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres. Through the TD Ready Commitment we are providing $1 million in funding to help front-line community health centres meet local needs.
We are providing investment advice during turbulent times. Our teams of experienced advisors are focused on navigating the market environment, with the aim to keep our customers' portfolios on track toward reaching their long-term investment goals.
We are doing our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 through physical distancing, screening methods, enhanced cleaning and reducing hours and opened locations. Our amazing branch banking teams are taking care to help those who are more susceptible to the virus, including seniors, by making the first opening hour available to them and making special arrangements where we can to accommodate them. The overwhelming majority of our customers have shown patience and kindness towards our colleagues as they adapt to the situation. We are actively urging customers to not come in to our branch, but when they have an urgent matter to address in person, we are asking them to leave the rest of their family at home. To help customers continue to manage their finances from home, we have been helping them get enabled for online and mobile banking, so that it is easy to pay bills, check balances and have payments directly deposited in their accounts.
COVID-19 has touched all of us. It has created volatility in our markets, impacts to our economy and created real stress and anxiety for families. Canadians are worried, and looking for answers. They're looking for guidance and want to feel assurance that the institutions they depend on are going to be there for them. Our goal is to provide that assurance—in hopes we can give our customers one less thing to worry about. Providing that kind of relief at a time like this is what being the Better Bank is all about.