I have written an open letter to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada regarding the closure of the TD Canada Trust Bank located at 1979 Weston Road.
This is the fourth TD Bank to close in York South-Weston, and it is unacceptable that our community has become a target of predatory lending and payday loans.
We are in the process of organizing our own town hall to discuss and resolve the challenges posed by the bank's closure. Stay tuned for more details and please read my open letter below:
Commissioner Lucie Tedesco
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Laurier Avenue West, 6th Floor
Ottawa ON K1R 1B9
RE: File with Reference Number 363484
Dear Commissioner Tedesco,
I am writing to request a meeting regarding the closure of the TD Canada Trust Bank located at 1979 Weston Road in Toronto Ontario (Branch Number 335).
This marks the fourth TD Branch closure in York South-Weston, a community that has become the target of predatory lending and payday loans. The bank has failed to fulfill its obligation to consult with the community, and many customers - myself included - did not even receive notice of the bank’s closure.
As a resident and local social worker in the community, I cannot stress the importance of providing fair access to financial institutions. Had TD Canada Trust consulted with the community, they would have become aware of the social and economic hardship that this closure will cause to the residents of Weston including but not limited to:
Proximity - The branch is within walking distance of over 10,000 residents. Many of these residents do not own cars and spending nearly $7 on the TTC fare required to get to the new location will be a significant barrier for low-income customers. In Forest Hill, a far less densely populated neighbourhood, there are seven TD Banks within close proximity of each other.
Accessibility - The branch is located in a neighbourhood where many residents are seniors and people with disabilities. These residents rely on this branch because they can access banking services without having to travel far.
Lack of financial alternatives - CIBC, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust branches have already closed down and left the neighbourhood. Predatory lenders are quickly filling the gap for financial services in York South-Weston. As you know, these institutions trap hard-working families in a cycle of debt and economic violence that will threaten the quality of life for too many in this community.
These are just some of the reasons I ask that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada convene a public meeting between the community and TD Canada Trust to discuss and resolve the challenges posed by the bank's imminent closure.