A victory in Weston!
In late May 2018, I wrote an open letter to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) regarding the closure of the 1979 Weston Road Toronto Dominion Bank, my local bank. This marks the fourth TD Branch closure in York South-Weston, a community that has become the target of predatory lending and payday loans. Many Weston residents felt that they weren't consulted enough in the closure process.
In my open letter, I expressed my concerns about the closure of the bank due a lack of consultation with the community, inaccessibility and a lack of financial alternatives for local residents. In my initial letter to the FCAC, I requested that the Branch host a community meeting to discuss how they could accommodate residents' needs. On June 7th, I heard back from the FCAC stating that, "the role of FCAC is to ensure that notice is given to allow time for the community to react and to ensure that sufficient consultation has taken place between the bank and the affected community given the circumstances of the closure." The FCAC believed that TD provided adequate community consultation and was not required to request TD to host a community meeting.
After receiving this response, I decided to go directly to TD with the same ask in addition to a request to keep an ATM in the same location along with a Wi-Fi hub, which is currently provided by the bank at its current location.
After a few weeks of discussion, on August 23rd, I was notified by TD Bank's Downsview Hills District Vice President that TD would be keeping an ATM open for the time-being while they figure out a long-term solution. Unfortunately, TD also said that with the Wi-Fi hub, they "are not able to move forward based on a review with our internal partners. There is significant limitations to us being able to house, maintain and support an external hub and this is currently not within our scope." The Branch has hosted a series of community education sessions around financial literacy and are looking to work with Frontlines and the Career Foundation to continue to do so. I will keep you updated on any upcoming sessions or meetings.
My team and I will continue to provide updates around the bank's closure and possible next steps. York South-Weston is a victim of predatory lending – we deserve fair banking options. I will be advocating for the ATM to be permanently housed at the Weston Road and Little Avenue intersection.