TD Bank has realized the error of its ways, they swear. No longer will the bank be closing branches, like they did in Weston (twice). No, TD told the Globe and Mail last weekend, now they’re all about the customer. And this time they mean it.
TD has noticed, somewhat belatedly, that “human beings are social animals, and for some crucial interactions, nothing beats face-to-face meetings.”
“For customers, it’s not branches or digital,” says Teri Currie, TD’s head of Canadian retail banking. “It’s both.”
According to the
press release Globe and Mail, TD was closing branches because they were investing in ‘fintech’. Now, though, “TD is emphasizing a reinvestment in its branches, one that is multifaceted. For one, the physical formats are changing – fewer tellers, more wealth advisers; less total square footage, but larger meeting rooms.”
And there’s the rub. These aren’t branches like we used to have–places where you might quickly cash a cheque or have your kids turn in the rolled-up coins they collected for the cadets. There’s no profit in that, so you’ll have to wait in line.
These are branches where the leather-soled won’t have to share their green Naugahyde lounger with the steel-toed. And that explains why TD moved to Weston and Oak: the distance and architecture of the bank will discourage actual banking but encourage high-margin loans and investment. They didn’t move there and make banking hard in Weston. They moved there to make banking hard in Weston.
Banking can be this uncomfortable.