Does TD Bank Belong in the Future?

No, unless they change two fundamental things, ASAP

B. Lorraine Smith

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The latest Matereality assessment, examining TD Bank — free, open-source, created from public disclosures.

I conducted a Matereality assessment on Toronto-Dominion Bank (aka TD). The assessment deck is free to access, download, or share here. A brief video explaining the findings is here [added Sept 15: new and improved simplified video here]. If you see any mistakes or have feedback, I’d be glad to hear from you publicly in the comments, or privately here.

In brief, the assessment suggests that TD does not belong in the future we want unless they stop financing mass extinction and social inequality, and they start making disclosures comprehensible to customers and communities.

This article offers additional commentary to complement the slide deck.

To create this assessment, I interviewed a group of diverse stakeholders — all of whom agreed to make their perspective public — and reviewed an array of publicly available TD documents, as well as other public materials (all noted/linked in the assessment deck).

Why assess TD’s Matereality?

I share this in the spirit of shifting industrial activity towards healing, because I think it needs doing. No one asked me to do it and I am not funded to do this work. I explain more about Matereality in this article; there are additional links on my website; and this brief video explains the idea in a nutshell.

I chose TD because I’m a customer, and because I’ve never worked on their ESG efforts (whereas I have with some of their American peers). It seemed like a good place to spot check the role of the financial services industry in the desired future.

As I mention in the opening letter — and as many stakeholders also pointed out in the interviews — the issues outlined in the assessment are not unique to TD, nor even to banking in Canada. A lot needs to transform across the banking industry. I’m using TD as example to illustrate the point using real data and disclosures.

An excerpt from my “Letter from a TD Customer” in the TD Matereality Assessment, explaining my intention.

Business Model: Comparing what they say with what they do

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B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact. https://www.blorrainesmith.com/