TD Bank Allegations Raise 'Serious Concerns': Ombudsman

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TORONTO — The head of Canada's main financial services ombudsman says allegations about aggressive sales tactics by TD Bank employees raise "serious concerns'' and the watchdog will be monitoring consumer complaints for similar issues in the broader industry.

Sarah Bradley, the head of the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, is urging consumers who encounter issues such as fees stemming from unauthorized accounts to file a complaint with their financial institution.

Bradley's comments came in the wake of several CBC reports that current and former employees at TD alleged they broke the law to meet sales targets in order to stay employed.

td bank bharat masrani
TD Bank CEO Bharat Masrani says the allegations against TD Bank not an accurate portrayal of the bank's workplace. (Photo: The Canadian Press/Peter McCabe)

OBSI is an impartial arbitrator that serves as an alternative to expensive legal battles by resolving disputes between banks or investment firms and their clients.

TD Bank ditched the organization in 2011 in favour of another arbitrator called ADR Chambers Banking Ombuds Office, following in the footsteps of Royal Bank, who did so several years earlier.

In a statement late Sunday, TD Bank CEO Bharat Masrani said he doesn't believe the reports are an accurate portrayal of the bank's workplace, but he takes the concerns the story raises seriously.

"TD is in the trust business,'' Masrani said in the statement. "We know we must earn our customers' trust before we earn their business.''

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