That comfy green chair at the Blue Jays games became more elusive to Cavan Monaghan residents last month, as residents, businesses and township staff learned on February 9th of the Toronto Dominion Bank’s decision to close the Millbrook branch.
The institution has served the community since 1912 after purchasing the location from the Woods and Kells Bank. The last day of operation is August 18th, after which all accounts will be serviced by the TD branch located in the Consumers’ Plaza on Lansdowne Street West across from the retailer Best Buy. The news was shocking to the growing community and the township staff, who had received no advance warning of the move despite being the most significant branch client, with over $15 million in working funds at the bank and another $5 million in long term investments with TD Canada Trust.
Seniors in the community who have banked there all of their lives are finding it hard to fathom that the bank believes that their business is no longer worth keeping the doors open. Particularly hard hit are the retailers who rely on the local branch for services, including providing change for their daily operations.
Mayor McFadden is hoping to find another financial institution to step into the vacancy left by TD Bank’s departure and is offering a significant carrot to the willing corporation. At the February 21st Council meeting, a motion proposed by the Mayor to transfer all of its banking business to a new financial institution opening up in the township was passed unanimously. The decision, which was broadcast over the municipal website prompted a response from the TD bank, whose representative requested a meeting with the Mayor to discuss the situation. McFadden subsequently met with a Senior VP for the Region who repeated what was already known: the branch is closing and the decision which was made corporately, is final.
Fortunately no local jobs are at risk, as all staff will remain employed at the new branch location. There is no word on plans for the building occupied by the bank. It is owned by the bank, and has benefited from capital improvements as recently as last summer, when repairs were made to the roof.
TD Canada Trust has positioned itself as the Canadian bank with a retail focus, earning more than 80% of its profits from its retail operations. The institution prides itself on its leadership in customer service and convenience, but is shifting its service delivery into the more lucrative mobile banking, a move they suggest is driven by their customers. It is paying off for its shareholders, if not its customers. TD’s reported earnings in the last quarter of 2016 are up 25% over the same period in 2015. They have also closed 30 branches during the past year, and clearly more closures are coming. If a growing community like Cavan Monaghan is not deemed a worthwhile location, satellite branches in Omemee and Bethany with limited operating hours will not likely pass scrutiny much longer. KG