Mr. Bharat Masrani reports
TD STEPS UP SUPPORT FOR CANADIANS IMPACTED BY COVID-19 WITH 50% CUT TO CREDIT CARD INTEREST
In response to COVID-19, Toronto-Dominion Bank has made unprecedented efforts to support Canadians during this difficult period, providing deferrals, credit relief and other solutions to tens of thousands of Canadians in financial need. Today, TD is announcing more relief through its TD helps program by reducing credit card interest rates by 50 per cent for customers facing financial hardship.
"Over the last few weeks, everyone across TD has been coming together in extraordinary ways to support Canadians through the crisis," said Teri Currie, group head, personal banking. "We continue to stand by our customers by making credit available, providing access to critical banking services across all of our channels. Most Canadians pay their credit card on time, but we know that, right now, some families are facing financial hardship and are in need of some additional relief."
Through TD helps, almost 30,000 customers facing financial hardship have reached out to the bank for personalized advice and relief over the past three weeks, including deferrals on payments of credit cards, personal loans and mortgages, debt consolidation into lower interest loans, and other measures. The TD helps program has been in place since the 2008 financial crisis to help customers experiencing financial hardship. In recent weeks, the bank has been overwhelmed with calls -- 10 times more than normal -- and colleagues from other areas of the bank have been redeployed to provide advice and help to those customers in urgent need of assistance.
Today, TD is announcing more relief through its TD helps program by reducing credit card interest rates by 50 per cent for customers facing financial hardship. Customers experiencing financial hardship and in need of credit card relief can visit the TD website.
For customers directly impacted by COVID-19 and in need of payment deferrals, new on-line self-serve applications are available at the TD website for:
Credit card payments;
Auto loans payments with TD Auto Finance;
Business banking principal payments.
Since March 22, more than 70,000 mortgage payment deferrals have been processed, and nearly all of them were approved.
TD is supporting relief programs provided by the government of Canada, 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 with coming programs to help support small- and medium-sized businesses through this crisis, including relief and providing access to credit.
"We know that the need for financial assistance is growing, and that's why we will continue to evolve our response, working with the Canadian government to find solutions that help give Canadians financial relief and access to credit when they need it the most," added Ms. Currie.
More ways the bank is stepping up to help
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, TD has implemented physical distancing, screening methods, enhanced cleaning and reduced hours in opened locations. TD is actively urging customers to not come into its branches and manage their banking from home or at ABMs. To help customers continue to manage their finances outside of its branches, TD has been helping them get enabled for on-line and mobile banking, so that it is easy to pay bills, check balances and have payments directly deposited in their accounts. For essential workers, seniors and those who are more vulnerable, TD has been making special arrangements to assist them with urgent matters that need to be addressed in person.
"The overwhelming majority of our customers have shown patience and kindness towards our colleagues as they adapt to this new and difficult situation. I would like to thank our amazing branch colleagues and contact centre teams for everything they are doing to help our customers get through this in what is an extremely challenging circumstances," said Ms. Currie.
TD is helping the most vulnerable in its communities by collaborating with the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres and through the TD ready commitment, providing $1-million in financing to help front line community health centres meet local needs.
To be there to serve Canadians, it means that many TD colleagues continue to come in to work to serve its customers, and for this, the bank has made changes to branches, offices and contact centres for their safety and provided them with additional compensation. Over the last few weeks, TD has continued to pay those who are unable to work. Earlier this week, TD group president and chief executive officer, Bharat Masrani announced to TD's 85,000 colleagues that there will be no job losses in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.
Low-interest and low-cost product options available:
TD offers low-interest-rate credit options, including the TD Emerald flex-rate visa, for a $25 annual fee, with interest rate of TD prime plus 4.50 per cent up to TD prime plus 12.75 per cent on purchases and cash advance.
The TD minimum account offers a chequing account with minimal banking needs for a $3.95 monthly fee or free for seniors (60 years or older) collecting guaranteed income supplement, registered disability savings plan beneficiaries, and students enrolled full-time at a college or university and under the age of majority in their province of residence.
A TD personal line of credit is a borrowing option to finance everyday purchases, as well as larger purchases, or consolidate debt and save money on interest compared with higher-interest credit products.
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