In July 2017, the bank made several changes to the disclosure document, including the deletion of the language “senior discount” and the presentation of the fees for senior citizens specifically as a lower amount in the table of monthly fees by account type. However, there were still no instructions on specific actions customers needed to take in order to access the lower monthly senior fee.
“As of March 5, 2012, seniors who open new accounts were automatically given the lower monthly fee,” the decision said. “However, some eligible existing customers and customers who were eligible were not automatically charged the lower tariff.”
In cases where the discount or lower rate was not applied, the bank asked eligible customers to request the change on their account. As early as March 2013, the bank knew that many eligible seniors had not applied for the discount they were entitled to and responded by contacting customers, training staff and posting information about the discount process on its website.
It wasn’t until 2018, following a customer complaint, that TD found that its disclosure document did not meet the requirements of banking law and reported the issue to the FCAC. While TD initially claimed that only the July 2017 version of the disclosure document was inconsistent, FCAC staff later discovered that even the document used in March 2012 was in breach of the requirements.
“As a result, according to FCAC employees, TD breached the disclosure requirements from March 5, 2012 to October 16, 2018,” the decision said. Since the bank did not appear to have effective procedures for reviewing its fees against the disclosures made to clients, the FCAC concluded that it was negligently failing to comply with its regulatory obligations.