TORONTO, March 10 Toronto-Dominion Bank
on Friday stood by its business practices after a report by CBC
News suggested the bank had put staff under pressure to meet
tough sales targets.
TD shares ended down 5.6 percent at C$66.00 on Friday, after
having fallen as low as C$65.83 earlier in the session. The
benchmark Canada stock index ended flat.
The CBC report suggested that TD customers were moved to
higher fee accounts or their overdraft and credit card limits
were increased without their knowledge to help staff meet
In an emailed statement to Reuters, TD said, "The
environment described in the media report is very much at odds
with how we run our business and we don't recognize it from our
own perspective, experience or assessments."
Sales targets have become a hot button issue in North
America since U.S. bank Wells Fargo reached a $185 million
settlement with U.S. authorities last September over findings
that its branch staff had opened up to 2 million unauthorized
customer accounts amid pressure to meet internal sales goals.
"There is very little that TD itself can do in the near term
to disprove the allegations and the full overhang is not likely
to dissipate until a full investigation is concluded, which
could take months," Barclays analyst John Aiken said in a
research note on Friday.
Traders said investors had been spooked by the CBC report
because allegations of misconduct are rare against Canadian
banks, which have previously avoided the types of consumer
scandals that have afflicted lenders in the United States and
TD said in its statement that it had a culture of putting
the needs of customers first and acting with integrity and that
was reflected in its performance management practices.
"We take our commitment to ethics and integrity very
seriously. Every employee in our company must abide by the Code
of Conduct and Ethics which requires employees to act ethically
and to not allow a focus on business results to come before our
focus on our customers," it said.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
(OSFI), Canada's banking regulator, said in an emailed response
a request for comment that it was "aware of the issue" but it
does not publicly discuss its supervisory work.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), the
country's consumer watchdog, said in an emailed comment that it
was aware of "allegations about financial institutions signing
consumers up for products or services without providing all the
required information, particularly about fees related to the
Neither agency named TD in the comments.
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Toni Reinhold)