TD strikes deal with Canada immigration site as newcomers surge

Bloomberg News

Kevin Orland, Bloomberg News January 31, 2023

Gerry Butts, vice chair of Eurasia Group and former principal secretary to the prime minister of Canada, joins BNN Bloomberg to discuss the inclusion of Canada in Eurasia Group's Top Risks 2023 report. Butts speaks about the risks Canada faces from China and from growing divisiveness in the United States, and also mentions the advantages Canada has which other countries do not.

Toronto-Dominion Bank struck a deal to provide financial content for the immigrant-geared CanadaVisa website, part of its bid to win a greater share of the new Canadians who are an increasingly important source of growth for the country’s big lenders.

Under the exclusive partnership, Toronto-Dominion will provide articles and other financial-services material on a routine basis for the website, which has 2.4 million monthly users and almost 900,000 forum members, the Toronto-based bank said Tuesday.

Immigrants account for about 75 per cent of Canada’s population growth and almost all of its labor-force growth, making them an increasingly important source of new customers for the country’s banks. The trend is likely to continue as the government’s latest immigration plan targets 465,000 new permanent residents this year and half a million in 2025. 

“Immigration is really set to take off in the coming years,” Sona Mehta, senior vice president for Canadian personal banking at Toronto-Dominion, said in an interview. “So we have to take a step back to say, ‘How do we best organize to capture and service that burgeoning need?’”

Beyond the basics of serving immigrants in their native tongues — Toronto-Dominion associates speak more than 50 languages and its automated-teller machines provide service in seven — the bank has drilled into the different segments of newcomers and the different stages of their acclimation to the country, Mehta said.

The bank has organized teams with representatives from departments including marketing, risk analytics, branch banking and technology to help tailor services that differ for permanent residents, international students and temporary workers, Mehta said. The teams also look at different stages of the immigrant journey, including the days immediately after arrival versus further into their time in Canada.

One outcome of that work has been banking packages tailored to those segments that include certain accounts and products and while waiving fees and provide other benefits. The bank said its “New to Canada” package provides $1,575 in benefits, while its international-student package is valued at $600.

“Newcomers are critical,” Mehta said. “That’s why you see this being such a high priority in the Canadian personal bank.”