Unless you’ve been living under a financial news rock recently, longtime TD Bank employees have gone public – citing “incredible pressure” to squeeze bank profits from customers. Yet this is nothing new in the financial sector. The banking sector mandate is to loan loads of money and sell financial products to customers, almost to the extent possible. However the pressure to do so at TD Bank has invariably gone way too far.
So this begs a question for me – what’s next for TD Bank?
It also begs another more important question – what’s next for you the customer?
First off, embarking on cultural change is not easy. Behaviours become entrenched and are not easily changed. Thousands of TD Bank employees won’t change their ways easily unless a number of enablers are place. Even then, change starts at the top.
Secondly, there always has and will always be a “sales” element to any organization. Organizations are in business to make money after all. Ideally lots of it. Usually for management but ultimately for shareholders.
Image courtesy of CBC article referenced above.
Thirdly but I think most importantly – change starts with one – as in you – the consumer. Caveat emptor. If you don’t already do so, you need to take some personal responsibility for your own personal finance welfare. This means don’t believe everything you read or hear. Fact check. Don’t accept offers on the surface. Take time to digest “the offer” and think it through. Ask questions. Ask others. Read. Reflect.
Look at your own financial needs and understand them thoroughly before you make any major investment or purchase decisions. If you don’t know what your needs are – get unbiased, fee-for-service help.
You won’t always succeed in making the best financial decisions (you will make money mistakes) but hopefully your mistakes will occur less often and be smaller over time. I can almost guarantee if you take some personal responsibility for your money behaviour you’ll come out ahead and for the better.
I’m not condoning the pressure tactics of TD Bank. There appears to be legitimate issues to address at this organization. Management should step up. I believe some TD Bank employees genuinely feel insecure, threatened, and very stressed about their long-term job prospects if they don’t follow party-line. That’s not a healthy work environment and something I personally wouldn’t want to be part of. However, as a customer, never forget you have the power of choice. Never forget you can vote with your wallet. Don’t forget you have an opportunity to make good financial decisions for you or your family if you do your own due diligence. Change starts with you.
What’s your take on the TD Bank mess? Are you going to wait for change or will you take some personal finance matters into your own hands?