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Job loss, divorce, illness: TD helps customers manage finances in difficult times

-TD Helps program has assisted tens of thousands of Canadians-

-Expanded TD Helps site tdcanadatrust.com/tdhelps has advice and tools-

TO VIEW AN HTML SOCIAL MEDIA VERSION OF THIS RELEASE, PLEASE VISIT www.smrmediaroom.ca/TDHelps

March 2, 2010, TORONTO – The death of a spouse. A major illness. The loss of a job. Divorce. These life-changing events can create unexpected challenges that result in major financial difficulties. Recognizing this, TD Canada Trust has expanded TD Helps, a program created to assist customers experiencing financial hardship to manage their debt and take control of their finances.

“We started TD Helps during the recession and were able to help tens of thousands of customers, but we also recognized that the need extended beyond the economic downturn. We heard from many who were struggling for other reasons – reasons just as life-altering - and we realized we could expand our TD Helps program to include real solutions for those customers too. TD Helps began as an answer to an immediate need but it has evolved into a program that has become part of our culture, extending the kind of help and advice our branches have always given on an individual basis, to all customers who need it through a bank-wide program,” says Tim Hockey, President and CEO, TD Canada Trust.

The TD Helps program is designed to assist Canadians in managing their finances in difficult times. TD takes a unique and individualized approach to each customer, analyzing their current financial position and offering solutions for both short-term cash flow management and long-term improved financial health through advice, options, and tools. Some of the solutions TD Canada Trust has provided to date include financial solutions to take the pressure off, including mortgage restructuring, allowing customers to defer mortgage payments, moving customers to lower cost products and consolidating debt. Longer term solutions include a personal financial assessment at the branch and advice on debt management, and conversations about saving and investing.

An important part of the program, the TD Helps website was originally designed to help reach customers facing hardship due to the financial crisis. Recently relaunched, www.tdcanadatrust.com/tdhelps/ has expanded its focus to include tools, advice and ways to get immediate help for customers facing challenges beyond the effects of the economic downturn and features:

  • Videos featuring TD employees describing how they were able to help customers – examples that TD hopes will encourage more customers to call
  • Interactive cash flow management tools – to help customers figure out how to make the most of the money they have
  • Financial management tip-oriented videos with topics including paying down the right debt, managing credit effectively, and finding money in unexpected places

“When someone has experienced a life altering event like illness or the loss of a partner, things may never return to the way they were. We understand this and that’s why TD Helps is about helping people adjust to their new financial situation in both the short term and the long term,” says Hockey. “We encourage customers who need help to come in and talk us; we know we can’t fix everything, but there is almost always something we can do to help.”

TD Helps is just one way that TD is reaching out to those facing financial challenges. As part of its ongoing support for financial literacy initiatives in Canada, TD has partnered with Social Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI), a charitable organization that helps low income and otherwise economically disadvantaged Canadians gain financial independence. In January 2010, TD announced $14.5 million in funding to SEDI which will be used fund the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy and administer the new TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund. The TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund is the first of its kind in Canada and will distribute $11 million in grants to community groups for financial literacy training.

TD BANK FINANCIAL GROUP
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$557 billion in assets on October 31, 2009. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

For further information:

Carolyn Abbass / Steve Presant
Paradigm Public Relations
416-203-2223
cabbass@paradigmpr.ca / spresant@paradigmpr.ca

Erin Baldwin
TD Bank Financial Group
416-308-4061
td.capa@td.com