TD: America's Most Convenient Bank

If we had any question about why TD is so anxious to betray long time Canadian customers for a foreign government, here is it.
I just received a Zoomer Promotion from TD directed at snowbirds heading south for the winter (no hint of the nasty surprise the IRS and FATCA may have in store for them!)
The promotion proudly boasts:

TD, America’s Most Convenient Bank

TD America's Most Convient Bank
Note the American flag proudly flying over one of 1300 U.S. TD branches. Enough said.

14 thoughts on “TD: America's Most Convenient Bank

  1. And I am proud to boast of closing my TD bank accounts some time ago, prior to July 1, 2014 FATCA date. Yes folks, support your local credit unions but check their FATCA status first. Hope this is something many others are doing. On a trip to New York several years ago, I noticed a number of “Canada Trusts” on the streets there. Snow birds beware!

  2. @PatCanadian. I have closed almost all my accounts at TD. There are still a couple of RRSPS there that I would take a big hit on if I moved them now, so they will need to wait until 2015 and 2016. However, TD website says they are not reportable.
    I read a few years ago that TD was the third largest bank in Manhattan and growing.

  3. @Lynne. No tax liability is triggered if RRSPs are transferred directly from one institution to another, i.e. the funds do not pass through your hands. This type of transfer must be initiated at the new institution. They will then get in touch with TD, request the transfer, and handle all of the paperwork. (This, of course, can’t fix early termination penalties for locked in types of investments.)
    TD will undoubted hit you with transfer-out fees, but many institutions will reimburse you for some or all of those fees in order to get the new business. I did just that a year and a half ago when ditching TD. The reimbursement did appear as a new contribution at the receiving end so you have to make sure you have allowable room.

    1. @Maz:  Thanks. It is not a tax hit. It is a hit from TD for transferring before renewal dates in 2015 and 2016.

       I have not asked my credit union if they would cover the cost. However, I do not have any contribution room because I have always contributed to my max. 

      I hope TD will honour the statement on their website that RRSPs are not reportable, but I don’t trust them.  There are alternatives to a CLN in FATCA regs and the IGA, but TD’s website indicates that is the only document they will accept. Questions to Customer Support and my Branch Manager have failed to tell me why.

      TD has not asked me if I was born in the US, but I am leaving before they do (except for the RRSPs). I realize I could be setting myself up by posting this with my real name, but I will not be silenced and I will not hide. 

      My 1973 Canadian citizenship oath contains a signed oath renouncing U.S. citizenship. It was witnessed by a Canadian citizenship official. I did not think any Canadian bank could refuse to accept that as evidence I am not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. person. But, based on TD`s website, it seems “America`s Most Convenient Bank” can do just that.

      TD is definitely not the Canada Trust that I banked with  before TD bought them out.

  4. Falls into the same category of questions as:
    “Why are there no Warning Stickers on Canada’s Registered Accounts and Mutual Funds — that persons who might be defined as “US citizens/persons who happen to reside in Canada” by both the USA and Canada will come across before entering into such investments?”
    “Why do our Canadian Conservative MPs (who were voted into office to represent and look out for the best interests of ALL their constituents) not advise all of their constituents of the IGA they voted for in their lock-step majority government with omnibus Bill C-31, legislating implementation of US FATCA law to override Canadian laws in this country, making anyone the US defines as a *US Person* second-class to any other Canadians, no matter those other Canadians’ national origin or the national origin of their parents / grandparents?”
    “Why don’t our Canadian Conservative MPs not ask all their constituents if they feel that ALL Canadians are (or should be) protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?”
    To not do so is as (seemingly deliberate) IRRESPONSIBLE as the USA in not advising new emigrants to their country or those who have left the “homeland” of the consequences / responsibilities of US citizenship-based taxation.

  5. I have to say I don’t think picking on the banks is going to be effective. To expect them to do anything other than what they are doing is wildly optimistic. Insofar as banks go, what is surprising is the lack of FATCA knowledge at the branch level.
    The banks have been enabled by a witless government, aiding and abetting a foreign government to an extent even our finance minister hasn’t figured out. He and his minions continue to prattle on about how the IGA saved the banks…who cares? They studiously ignore the violation of the Constitution and every privacy act in the country. In every rebuttal by Oliver, he steers far clear of those two issues.

    1. @John Canuck. You are right but making them uncomfortable by insisting on our rights gives a small measure of satisfaction and just might wake up some of the lower level employees to this abomination.
      Joe Oliver is the exact opposite of Jim Flaherty–a useless yes-man who can be depended on to stick blindly to the Conservative talking points. A successful lawsuit is the only thing that will get their attention.

    2. @John Canuck. I realize it may be futile to try to challenge the banks. TD and perhaps other Canadian banks are showing what they think of their long time Canadian citizen customers who had the misfortune to be born in the US.

      That is exactly why I chose to leave TD after 33 years.

      TD “Customer Support” refused to answer two simple questions from me:  Will they ask for place of birth? Will they accept alternatives to a CLN?

      CRA gave banks tons of wiggle room.  They were clear banks are NOT required to ask for place of birth. Even FATCA regs provide for a “reasonable explanation” alternative to a CLN.  Despite that, TD’s website says a CLN is the only option.

  6. @ Lynne. Rereading your original post I should have figured out what the situation was on my own. Sorry for the lecture. If and when TD asks THE QUESTION, I wonder if “You have asked me a question prohibited by the Charter-I’ll get back to you after I consult my lawyer” might wake them up.

    1. @Maz I didn’t consider your reply a lecture. I saw it as intended helpful advice–even though it doesn’t apply in my situation.

      Also, the Charter does not apply to banks–just to government.  The Human Rights Act and Privacy laws apply to banks.  Or at least they did until the enabliing law that overides all Canadian laws.
      Despite that, the Interim Privacy Commissioner, in response to questions from Murray Rankin at Finance Committee, said Privacy laws are “quasi constitutional”. It was her opinion that the Privacy Act would prevail over the enabling legislation.
      A Harper appointee is now the Privacy Commissioner and the Interim Commissioner is now in privacy law private practice now. I have no idea what the opinion of the new Commissioner is.
      I have since learned Human Rights laws also have quasi constitutional status. So far, the Canadian Human Rights Commission is silent on FATCA, So I don’t know if a complaint to them or to the Privacy Commission would be helpful or not.
      A lawyer is not required for either a Human Rights or a Privacy complaint, but I know a Human Rights complaint can be a long and daunting process. I do not know how long a Privacy complaint takes.

  7. Quote from the fine print at the bottom of the TD link…
    “Accounts issued by TD Bank, N.A. are not insured by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.”

  8. Take a look at this recent news:
    It looks like Barclay’s Bank Swiss operations has decided to exit FATCA. I wonder if this will be a trend? Could it be that other banks will eventually realize just how much it costs to comply with FATCA and opt out?
    Banks and businesses may also eventually opt out of investing in US interests and utilizing the US dollar. Wouldn’t that be interesting.

    1. I think you will find that it wasn’t FATCA they decided to abandon.
      Rather it was a specific deal between the Justice Dep’t and the Swiss .
      The US-Swiss agreement takes the form of a plea agreement as signified by its name, “Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks.”
      Swiss banks rushed to get on board and then realized they had been had.

  9. @Duke of Devin
    The December 15, 2014 article noted the following about Barclay’s Bank:
    “(CNS Business): Barclays Bank’s Swiss operations is ending its cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service’s efforts to prevent investors from investing money in foreign countries with more amenable tax structures and policies. During a Zurich speech, Barclays bank executive Francesco Grosoli announced that the firm’s Swiss operations had “recently exited the program”, after evaluating its legal options, according to a report from Heartlander.
    Grosoli declined to reveal additional details, but said that the bank had decided to end compliance with the US extra-territorial enforcement actions at some point within the last “three or four months”.”
    Although the article you mentioned does indicate a deal between the Swiss Finance Department and the US Justice Department, it is dated September 10, 2013.
    We will need to watch and see if there is any further information on this.

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