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Family dropped as client of bank, not told why
June 5, 2018
5:33 pm
Winnie
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June 5, 2018
6:28 pm
Norman1
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The family is playing dumb and full well knows that TD can't say anything because of privacy rules.

Situation is highly likely because of suspicious activity or attempted transactions, related to money laundering and terrorist activity financing. Another possibility is trying to run a money transfer business.

Similar to this case reported in December in the Globe & Mail: Montreal man, born in Iran, sues TD Bank over closed accounts.

June 5, 2018
7:32 pm
Bill
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Gotta love Canadian journalism today. Not even a hint that this is anything but a big bank that, for no particular reason aside from random malice (and the ever-popular "greed"), randomly selects some innocents from their millions of customers to treat unfairly and with disrespect. Media must think we're about 5 years old.

June 5, 2018
8:15 pm
Loonie
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It is disturbing that respected longterm forum members would assume that the explanation of this situation might have to do with terrorism, no less; or blame the media for exposing the bank's actions and asking questions.

The fact is, we don't know what the reasoning was or if it was valid. Let's leave it there. The main point was that banks can close your accounts without explanation and it can be very disruptive to families. That will be news to lots of people and is therefore worth reporting.

As I recall from previous posts, both commentators hold bank stocks, presumably including TD.

June 5, 2018
9:24 pm
Norman1
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A skill one acquires as the result of successfully investing in stocks, including bank stocks, is the skill of recognizing half truth and ferreting out the other half.

Is the reporter so naive to believe that TD Bank would close down a family's accounts for no reason at all? Not just a credit card. But, everything! Maybe the reporter should learn to use Google.

The December Globe & Mail story reported on the letter from TD Bank:

In a letter to … on Oct. 1, 2012, a TD representative said that after reviewing its customer relationships, the bank "can no longer continue to support your current accounts and/or services."

At 0:53 into the CTV video, there is a excerpt of the letter to the family:

TD periodically conducts a review of all its customer relationships…as a result…we can no longer continue to support your current accounts and/or services.

Hmm. Just a coincidence is it?

June 6, 2018
3:24 am
Loonie
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The excerpt from TD letter is not in question, never has been.

If you have found anything that clearly explains WHY the bank came to this decision, I'm all ears.

In the absence of such information, we don't know whether there was a valid reason. Was their name confused with another's, as in the case of people who unwittingly discover themselves to be on no-fly lists? Was the information which led TD to their conclusion accurately based? Even highest levels of security forces make mistakes in this regard. Those are a few of the possibilities that come to mind immediately.

There may indeed be others, but the point is that we simply don't know. The journalist did not claim to know. I do not claim to know. And the family certainly doesn't claim to know. I see no reason why we should focus on only one possibility and I see no reason why we should take TD's undocumented opinion as gospel truth. It's not like they've never made a mistake or never had to apologize. Unfortunately, the family appears to have no recourse and has reason to fear that they may face the same unknowable accusations and difficulties at other banks. They cannot clear their name because they don't know what the charge is. The bank holds all the cards.

I have no doubt Pat Foran knows how to use Google. I wouldn't be at all surprised if in fact he became aware of this story through reading the Globe and Mail's story as I don't consider him an in-depth investigator, based on his history of reporting. He often brings issues to our attention without resolving them. I often find them wanting because of this. So what?

Ferreting out the truth would mean considering all possibilities as to why this letter was written and withholding judgment until more was known, not just assuming TD's action was well founded.

Not my idea of a fair and just arrangement.

June 6, 2018
4:21 am
Kidd
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If the families activities were illegal.... wouldn't the police NOT the bank shut the operation down?

If only canada had a tier of government that actually worked for the people.

Last year a smart young man discovered that he could buy coins from the Canadian mint at face value on his rewards credit card. So he bought thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of coins and then he traded them in at his local bank to pay off his credit debt.....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/busines.....-1.4390911

Once the bank and the Canadian mint figured out that they had been outwitted they shut the operation down.

June 6, 2018
4:26 am
SG
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I agree with Loonie. I, myself had accounts closed at a Canadian Bank without explanation in the past. They simply stated it was within their right to do so.

Now I believe I know what the issue was... There was too many EFTs / transfers in and out of the account (I was using this bank as a pull from one bank and move to another) I did this 2 to 4 times a month, but I kept very little at the bank.

Now that's my best guess, but honestly I will never know their true reasoning.

June 6, 2018
4:52 am
Loonie
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Kidd said
If the families activities were illegal.... wouldn't the police NOT the bank shut the operation down?

.  

Yes, I considered this possibility but decided not to mention it for two reasons, but will explain now that you have mentioned it
.
First, it's possible that if something potentially illegal is at issue, then it could be that the bank noticed it first and would then refer it to the police. However, if that were the case, they might be equally motivated, with police cooperation, to keep the accounts going for a while longer in order to potentially accumulate more solid evidence.

Second, it may not be an issue that is of interest to the police at all, but only to TD bank. The letter suggested the issue, whatever it was, was identified in the course of some kind of regular scrutiny of accounts. If this is to be believed, then it doesn't suggest police involvement. More likely, it suggests the family wasn't lucrative enough to the bank.
My accounting firm lops off a small percentage of its least profitable clients every year, for example - the ones who take up too much of their time for too little gain. They are quite clear that this is their practice.
This may simply mean the bank was losing money on this family - note that the family was said to pay all their bills regularly, thus paying nothing in interest, and had accumulated $1600 in travel points. It's conceivable that TD saw confiscating those points as a way to finally make some money from these people before they cashed in those points! - but I don't know that.

June 6, 2018
5:03 am
Kidd
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Here’s one.

Rogers and Bell charge the BIG BUCKS for their unlimited internet service packages but did you know “unlimited” does not mean “unlimited”? Bell and Rogers have actually redefined the word. Those that stream or file share media consume massive amounts of bandwidth, which in my opinion is why one would pay for “unlimited” use. Bell and Rogers are actually kicking people from their network service because those people believed “unlimited” meant “unlimited”.

rogers.png

June 6, 2018
5:08 am
Top It Up
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SG said
I, myself had accounts closed at a Canadian Bank without explanation in the past. They simply stated it was within their right to do so.

Now I believe I know what the issue was... There was too many EFTs / transfers in and out of the account (I was using this bank as a pull from one bank and move to another) I did this 2 to 4 times a month, but I kept very little at the bank.

Now that's my best guess, but honestly I will never know their true reasoning.  

If you're still wondering what could have happened to this supposedly exasperated Toronto family, look no further than this self-admission to his likely expulsion as a client.

This is the wary and fidgety post-9/11 era and if banking activity even has the slightest reek of money-laundering and/or illicit movement, simply put, you're going down. And the bank is in their full rights to do it. That the family claims irreparable damage to their "banking reputation" has been brought on by their going public.

June 6, 2018
5:29 am
Loonie
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SG said
I agree with Loonie. I, myself had accounts closed at a Canadian Bank without explanation in the past. They simply stated it was within their right to do so.

Now I believe I know what the issue was... There was too many EFTs / transfers in and out of the account (I was using this bank as a pull from one bank and move to another) I did this 2 to 4 times a month, but I kept very little at the bank.

Now that's my best guess, but honestly I will never know their true reasoning.  

You mean you're really not a terrorist or a money-launderer! sf-wink (just kidding)

i am doubtful this explanation applies to this particular story because the story states that they had all their financial business with TD but it's certainly possible that the sum total of it didin't add up to a big enough profit to make it worth the bank's while. Banks are not a public service per se; they are a business.
Your point is taken, and your explanation is a reasonable inference.

I have thought for some time now that there is a risk that those who use their main bank simply as a hub may have that privilege withdrawn eventually, precisely because the banks, just like your doctor (at least in Ontario) can dismiss you as a client.
They have two options. They can either provide more reasons for us to want to bring more of our business to them; or they can decide it's worth the bad publicity to get rid of some of us.

Bottom line lessons:
1. Be aware that your bank can dismiss you and your business.
2. If you find them useful, make sure you throw them a few bones to keep them happy. This may mean keeping some money there at very low interest or having an investment account or a well used credit card or more than one of these. (Personally, I keep a healthy balance at TD earning nothing for this reason and another, personal, reason.) I recently added spouse to this account, which brings in other TD business aligned with my account.
3. Don't accumulate points on a Wish basis. Get the best deal you can get on a card that gives cashback, preferably monthly but at least annually. Put that money in your Wish account where it can earn interest and use it for travel or whatever your dream is.
4. Consider whether you could do most or all of your financial business through a credit union. I have not investigated but I think it's harder for a CU to dismiss you than a bank. With a CU, you are a member, and a member is a partial owner, so there would have to be a transparent process to get rid of you, I would think.
5. Never put your money in the laundry!sf-surprisedsf-laugh
Feel free to discuss these lessons. Maybe someone has better ones.

June 6, 2018
10:17 am
Bill
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"It is disturbing that respected longterm forum members would.....blame the media for exposing the bank's actions and asking questions." That's "disturbing"? Exaggerate much? (Also, "respected" is an unwelcome exaggeration too.)

Here's my take. Some are interested in views that contrast with their own so, in counterpoint, I'd encourage and welcome diversity, as well as inclusion, of all views here. No need to admonish or try to shape the conversation ("let's leave it there"), feel free to express.

June 7, 2018
4:40 am
Saver-Mom
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Showed this to a friendly bank employee who had the following to say:

Banks may close accounts for any reason, at any time, and are not obligated to explain reasoning as per the Financial Service Agreement you signed prior to the account opening and as per Canadian banking legislation.
Despite this non-obligation, banks will typically provide a written notice of account closure and offer sufficient time to sort out finances prior to closure, (14-31 days depending on the bank) and provide reason(s) for the closure out of goodwill and reputation-maintenance.
Reasons why banks close personal deposit accounts include i) the bank is complying with a court order ii) customer has acted illegally iii) customer has breached the terms and conditions of the Financial Services Agreement vi) customer has acted on one or multiple occasions abusively towards bank staff.
There is no policy nor practice whereby the bank will close an account based on the amount of revenue generated by that customer (to my knowledge, in my internal experience). If the customer is continually COSTING the bank money by violating the terms and agreements (ex: remaining in un-arranged overdraft AKA credit without allowance/permission), the bank may eventually decide to terminate the relationship.
Strict privacy policy prohibits the bank from disclosing information such as the reasoning behind the individual’s account closure mentioned in the article. (Which should instil comfort and confidence, not suspicion of maleficence).
I encourage you to consult your bank’s Financial Service Terms that you agreed to, the Code of Banking Practice and the Canadian Bank Act to learn the actual regulations. Banks are not evil corporations set-out to take advantage of you and your money. No massive corporation is perfect, but I can assure you that these corporations do a lot of good for the community. Think critically and appreciate the prosperity we are lucky to enjoy instead of perpetuating media-fabricated misconceptions. Happy banking everyone!

June 7, 2018
5:17 am
Top It Up
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Saver-Mom said

There is no policy nor practice whereby the bank will close an account based on the amount of revenue generated by that customer (to my knowledge, in my internal experience). 

Yeah, it'a a ridiculous notion to think otherwise - just think about the number of seniors or others who have a single chequing account and an ATM card.

June 7, 2018
5:55 am
Top It Up
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The RULES from my bank's Personal Account Agreement;

15. Suspending, Freezing, Blocking or Terminating Use of your Account: We may suspend, freeze, block or terminate your right to use your account, without notice even if you are not in default of this Agreement or we have never done so in the past, if:

● you are a victim of fraud or identity theft in order to prevent future losses;

● required by law;

● if there is a dispute about, or it is uncertain to us, who is entitled to funds in the account;

● we have reasonable grounds to believe that you did or may commit fraud, used or will use the account for any unlawful purpose, or caused or will cause us a loss;

● you operate the account in an unsatisfactory manner or contrary to our policies;

● you violate the terms of any agreement applicable to the account or any related service; or

● we choose to.

June 7, 2018
4:53 pm
AltaRed
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As far as I know, no financial institution has an obligation to serve anyone of the public. If they don't like what you are doing with your accounts, they have the right to ask you to leave. I have relatives that work for banks and accounts are closed for one reason or another on a fairly regular basis. They are not public institutions, i.e. crown corporations, paid for by the taxpayer, albeit they are highly regulated oligarchies.

June 7, 2018
9:48 pm
Loonie
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Edited.

Fascinating honesty from Top It Up's bank.
Gotta love that final reason, "we choose to". That covers everything under the sun including but not limited to "I don't like the look of you", "you have a funny name" and "you complained to the ombudsman too often", "friendly" bankers and corporate philanthropy notwithstanding.

A few months ago, in another thread, Doug explained to us the conditions under which a bank may refuse to OPEN an account, for which they are required by law or regulation to give a reason. He also explained manoeuvres typically used to discourage applicants so that the bank can avoid giving a reason.
It is interesting, and, I would argue, an oversight, that these rules do not require the banks to give a reason for CLOSING an account.

June 8, 2018
12:05 am
Kidd
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... and over the moon.

I would say, "okay, cash me out". I'll be home next tuesday, have my money deliveried to me then. Since the BOC have stopped printing the 500 and 1,000 dollar note, i guess 100's will be fine.

June 8, 2018
11:44 am
Loonie
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Kidd said
... and over the moon.

I would say, "okay, cash me out". I'll be home next tuesday, have my money deliveried to me then. Since the BOC have stopped printing the 500 and 1,000 dollar note, i guess 100's will be fine.  

Keep me posted. I'd like to be there when you take your Santa sac to the next bank for deposit. "Ho ho ho," you'll say; and " go go go," they'll respond...

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