Personal Finance

TD Canada Trust apparently loses customers' RRSP during transition/merger between Toronto Dominion Bank and Canada Trust

[OP]
Deal Addict
Sep 14, 2012
1844 posts
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Montreal, QC

TD Canada Trust apparently loses customers' RRSP during transition/merger between Toronto Dominion Bank and Canada Trust

Received this in my Facebook newsfeed https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -PFaMLT_2Q

Personally, I blame the customers.

I'm not in the banking industry. I do bank with TD Canada Trust but I'm far from being one of their "fanboys" and I've had issues with TD Canada Trust as well as them helping me with certain issues.

For me, if I had money at an institution and that institution merged with another institution, I would want to check my account(s) after the merger. I wouldn't wait ~25+ years after the merger and then try to get information on my account.
24 replies
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
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Markham
lmcjipo wrote:

Personally, I blame the customers.


For me, if I had money at an institution and that institution merged with another institution, I would want to check my account(s) after the merger
I am wondering whether TD sent customers mail and told them it's customers responsibility to make sure banks account are properly merged because they need a QA

Or they told customers no action required, but now blame customers
Penalty Box
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Dec 16, 2015
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Toronto
So they missed 3 zeroes on my rrsp...
To the moon
[OP]
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Sep 14, 2012
1844 posts
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Montreal, QC
smartie wrote: I am wondering whether TD sent customers mail and told them it's customers responsibility to make sure banks account are properly merged because they need a QA

Or they told customers no action required, but now blame customers
I'm sure TD had a timeframe of certain things happening.

I've been a member of 2 different company pension plans where the company that I worked for, decided during my employment with them to switch to a different financial institution.

With one of the companies, my group pension plan went from Standard Life to ManuLife a few years before I stopped working there. We received emails indicating "accounts would be transferred on this date and to verify the account balance within a certain period". We then got a final statement from Standard Life and then we received a new statement from ManuLife with the balance of the account (showing the transfer). This was over 10 years ago and if I discovered money wasn't transferred properly at this point in time, it would be too late to do anything about it.

One year ago, where I'm currently working, the same thing happened except the move was I believe from Standard Life to SunLife. I didn't bother checking but the onus is on me or the customer to check on it and not to wait a few years and then say that there was a problem.

Also, with RRSP accounts (at the time of the Canada Trust and Toronto Dominion Bank merger, we are talking about before internet banking was widespread and one could opt for online statement balances), financial institutions sent RRSP statements at least once per year to the account holder even when there were no transactions for the entire year... at least this is how it was for me so if someone doesn't receive a yearly balance statement, one can generally suspect that something is wrong.
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Oct 13, 2007
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Relating to this story and also this one: This Toronto man says TD Bank lost his RRSP, potentially worth $100K, I know that TD issues account statements. How do these people account for the fact that they have not received statements for a period of 25 years or so?

Wouldn't it have tipped them off in the first couple of years at the most? Of course, the "news" overlooks this aspect.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 19, 2017
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Redsanta wrote: So they missed 3 zeroes on my rrsp...
Zeroes at the front make no difference. $0001.00 = $1.00
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May 16, 2017
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starchoice wrote: Relating to this story and also this one: This Toronto man says TD Bank lost his RRSP, potentially worth $100K, I know that TD issues account statements. How do these people account for the fact that they have not received statements for a period of 25 years or so?

Wouldn't it have tipped them off in the first couple of years at the most? Of course, the "news" overlooks this aspect.
Both stories quote people that completely ignore $10,000's of assets for a couple of decades. Every organization can make mistakes - to not check your investments for a year, nevermind 20+ years, is personal negligence. It may be TD's mistake but that mistake was massively compounded by gross irresponsibility of the customer. If someone neglects or forgets they had investments for 20 years how can we take their assertion that it was TD not them that took the money out?

Some people just can't be bothered to look after their finances - like the people we bought our house from. 1st & 2nd mortgage, Bank of Montreal judgement on the title, mail for months later from collection agencies, banks, insurance and some still coming to this day - 6 years later (including some that appear to be investments they've forgotten).
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Mar 9, 2012
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Kitchener
I can't find where this may have occurred during the merger, that's an assumption in your title.

As for the story itself, unsure why people would ignore their holdings for years -- decades really. One could transfer their holdings to another bank, 20 years ago, then claim a bank lost their money, because records aren't kept that long.
Why can't we all just get along?
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Aug 18, 2008
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Ottawa
starchoice wrote: Relating to this story and also this one: This Toronto man says TD Bank lost his RRSP, potentially worth $100K, I know that TD issues account statements. How do these people account for the fact that they have not received statements for a period of 25 years or so?

Wouldn't it have tipped them off in the first couple of years at the most? Of course, the "news" overlooks this aspect.
In fairness, it is much harder to detect failures when it requires you to notice something has stopped (i.e. I no longer receive these constant notifications) vs. something actively telling you of hey a notification was missed. At least that's my opinion when I deal with computer issues :)
[OP]
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Sep 14, 2012
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Montreal, QC
jeff1970 wrote: I can't find where this may have occurred during the merger, that's an assumption in your title.

As for the story itself, unsure why people would ignore their holdings for years -- decades really. One could transfer their holdings to another bank, 20 years ago, then claim a bank lost their money, because records aren't kept that long.
It is an assumption on my part since the receipts that the couple have are from Canada Trust... also the individual person who is suing TD Canada Trust also dealt with Canada Trust.

This makes me think that the apparent loss of funds/investments has something to do with the merger between Toronto Dominion Bank and Canada Trust.
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Jul 28, 2012
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I used to work in a Big-5 calling centre and one time, a colleague got a call from the daughter or granddaughter of a client who enquired about a safe deposit box they had in the 1920s at a branch that no longer exists... at a bank that no longer exists and was purchased by my employer. The person was like 80+ years too late.
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Mar 9, 2012
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I dealt with the merger when it happened, and around here, BMO got some of the business (in Kitchener, because there were too many TD Branches and too many Canada Trust branches, so BMO had to pick up about 6 branches). Either way, no issue with any of the transfers.

It's a good reminder why people should keep track of their finances.
Why can't we all just get along?
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May 11, 2014
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Although these two cases by CBC are not on here, people should check the Unclaimed Balance Registry

https://www.bankofcanada.ca/unclaimed-balances/
https://ubmswww.bank-banque-canada.ca/e ... earchIndex
Support your local Credit Union!

Sask Pension Plan Upto $6600/yr in Credit Card spending on RRSP contributions
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/sask-pen ... ns-2167222
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Oct 13, 2007
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airodyssey wrote: I used to work in a Big-5 calling centre and one time, a colleague got a call from the daughter or granddaughter of a client who enquired about a safe deposit box they had in the 1920s at a branch that no longer exists... at a bank that no longer exists and was purchased by my employer. The person was like 80+ years too late.
Safety deposit boxes have an annual fee. It was likely a shot in the dark for something that was dealt with many years ago.
Member
Oct 8, 2020
291 posts
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Ottawa
I sent this story to my friend whose a Senior Financial Advisor at a credit union and she said she hates stories like this. She said people need to take responsibility for their finances and even if you have investments or RRSPs that you don't intend to touch, you should still be monitoring them at least once a year. There's been a few stories done by CBC this year alone where customers admit they didn't take control or manage their own finances. Remember the story of the lady who was scammed and said the bank should have stopped her from wiring money to the scammers? I feel like these people go to the media hoping to embarrass the banks and get paid out.

I feel like the media is doing these stories to drive traffic to their websites.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
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I see in that first couple just a complete misperception of what an RRSP is and what the contribution receipt reflects. I saw this when I worked at a bank too: people were intent on getting those RRSP contribution receipts that were printed on fancy paper, as if they meant something. Back in the Canada Trust days it looks like it was printed on pretty nice carbon copy type stuff. Even in TDCT days it was on 3-part perforated heavier paper, with TD logos sort of watermarked. Sometimes I'd print them out on regular paper and people insisted on the special paper.

In this case, I think the couple thought that the receipt, which really is just proof to provide the CRA of the contribution and isn't really needed anyway when digitally filing, was a certificate of sorts for the RRSP. It's reasonable to expect that if something is "certificated" that the certificate represents proof of the deposit and that no other tracking of the investment was really necessary as long as the certificate was well taken care of (TD doesn't mail statements for their basic deposit RRSPs either). They obviously held on to it, with the assumption that they could provide this proof when they were older to cash in on the RRSP. It's also very possible and likely that at some point they consolidated their RRSPs elsewhere and did transfer this smaller cash RRSP, but forgot. Possibly they had a TD RRSP as well, into which the CT RRSP was combined, and they transferred that RRSP to Scotia without knowing it included the $10K or so originally contributed to CT. They may not have expected it to be so easy without presenting the recipient bank with the "certificate" or something.
Money Smarts Blog wrote: I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.
Deal Addict
May 16, 2017
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There is ignorance and then there is willful ignorance. These stories are of the latter variety. Combine that with financial illiteracy and you have the potential for big losses. Even one of these cases, the guy assumes that an investment 20+ years ago that rolled-over at 4.5% was going to roll-over forever at 4.5%.
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Jan 27, 2004
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T.O. Lotto Captain
smartie wrote: I am wondering whether TD sent customers mail and told them it's customers responsibility to make sure banks account are properly merged because they need a QA

Or they told customers no action required, but now blame customers
according to OSFI rules... These transitions have a lot of rules to make it as fair and seamless as possible for customers.
Very regulated.
Newbie
Jan 13, 2016
26 posts
36 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
This happened to me as well during the merger, although only 1 financial instrument was misplaced during the transfer.

However, I contacted them after a reasonable period for the transfer to take place, and escalated to the branch manger. The tone and content of my side of the conversation elicited cheers from nearby cubicles.

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