A Message From our CEO
How does TD’s corporate responsibility strategy relate to the bank’s long-term plans?
We recognize that our business isn’t an island. Our success depends on the success of the communities where we work and live. Indeed, we are bound to them through our employees, our customers and our shareholders. So it’s important that we are aware of how our decisions affect each of these stakeholders.
It’s important too that all our employees know what we stand for and what our goals and values are. To this end, we developed a framework that clearly sets out the strategies, values and behaviours that will help us achieve our vision to be The Better Bank. We communicated it to every employee in 2010. Then, using this framework as a guide, we identified 10 corporate responsibility priorities that link directly to our business goals and will form the basis of our corporate responsibility reporting in 2011 and beyond.
Economic conditions remained difficult in 2010. What impact did this have on TD’s corporate responsibility priorities?
A challenge of the current sluggish economy is that many people who struggle even in good economic times are falling farther behind and some of our customers, through no fault of their own, are finding it tough to make ends meet.
We stayed true to our promise to support our customers. TD’s sound lending practices allowed us to emerge from the recession with our business intact. Because we didn’t make bad loans in good times, we were able to continue lending and offer programs like TD Helps. This program helps customers regain financial control of their lives by making their debt load more manageable, restructuring their mortgage payments and providing financial advice. Over the past year we’ve helped more than 38,000 Canadians and, in doing so, restore their dignity, confidence and peace of mind.
What were the key achievements, events and disappointments of 2010?
Our business continued to grow, and we delivered outstanding results in 2010. We expanded our presence in key markets by adding 135 stores in the southeastern United States. To put this into perspective, our U.S. operations grew by 23 per cent – solidifying our unique leadership position in North America.
By being steadfast in our commitment to customer service and convenience, TD Canada Trust was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among the Big Five Retail Banks” by J.D. Power and Associates for five consecutive years. Indeed, TD is the only bank in Canada to which J.D. Power has given its top award. At the same time, our U.S. employees continued to provide customers with an exceptionally high level of service. Following the TD Bank integration in 2009, the Customer WOW! Index rebounded to pre-integration levels in less than six months. This is an incredible achievement, given the complex demands and challenges associated with integrations.
Our competitors are putting tremendous efforts into customer service. To maintain our clear leadership and competitive advantage as the most convenient bank, we announced that 300 branches in Canada will be open seven days a week starting in 2011. This means we will continue to provide the longest hours of any bank. Our customers tell us they value the opportunity to bank any day of the week, when it’s convenient for them. Seven-day banking has benefits for our employees as well by offering more hours, more flexibility and more jobs.
As in other companies, many of our senior leaders will be eligible to retire over the next five years. Their expertise will need to be replaced. TD continues to be recognized as an organization that develops its people and builds leaders through innovative programs - leaders who not only understand our business, but who are also committed to our core values of diversity and inclusion.
How well did TD perform against its corporate responsibility targets?
We were again ranked as a best Employer in Canada by a number of organizations. We are seeing a great response to our diversity initiatives, especially the membership growth in the informal support networks our employees have established. Membership of both our Aboriginal Employee Circle and our Pride Network doubled in 2010 while our Chinese, Korean and South Asian community networks increased sevenfold. Our efforts to be more inclusive from a customer perspective have once again made us the bank of choice for new Canadians and members of the Chinese, South Asian,and black communities.
We achieved our goal of becoming carbon-neutral in 2010 - the first North American-based bank to do so. We developed new products to help home owners and small business owners finance renewable energy projects such as rooftop solar power generation. We also created carbon offsets through innovative social programs with not-for-profit community partners and First Nations groups. Reducing our overall paper consumption continues to be a challenge, and paper reduction will be a priority in 2011.
By investing more than $50 million into programs that matter to our employees and customers we helped strengthen local communities. We also developed a new, more consistent approach to TD’s community giving across our entire business. It will help increase our impact where it is most needed. We were tremendously proud as well to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
We believe that our corporate responsibility efforts in 2010 once again made a meaningful difference. But we recognize there is work to be done in setting more specific targets to better measure and manage our social and environmental performance.
What are some of TD’s upcoming goals and challenges?
While an economic recovery is underway in North America we expect it to be slow with stubbornly high levels of unemployment. This will continue to undermine consumer and investor confidence in the future and means we will not be able to grow at the pace we’ve experienced in the last few years.
Still, our business and corporate responsibility strategies will not change. We will work relentlessly to keep raising the bar in customer service. We will continue to build our unique and inclusive employee culture, ensuring that our leaders understand that developing their people is a priority. We will not let up on our diversity priorities or our environmental commitments. And we will stand by our community partners as they continue to make a difference in communities where our customers and employees live and work.
Group President and Chief Executive Officer