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A survey of responses from 8,337 retail banking customers over August and September by J.D. Power found America’s favourite bank is Canada’s second-largest lender. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: For over a decade, TD has touted itself as “America’s most convenient bank.” It services over nine million customers through 1,250 locations in the United States, offering its U.S. customers digital banking “while excelling at branch service and online banking satisfaction,” J.D. Power said in a statement. Those qualities saw it beat out American competitors like JPMorgan, Capital One, Wells Fargo and Bank of America for the first time since the survey was launched in 2017. TD didn’t make it in the top 10 banks in the study’s previous years. Last month, it was designated a globally systemically important bank.

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TD reported $2.86 billion in net income for the fourth quarter, down about four per cent from last year. CIBC earned $1.19 billion, a six per cent drop. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The big banks are facing a series of macroeconomic challenges, including a growing number of potentially sour loans—something both CIBC and TD cited as partially responsible for their income dips. Banks are looking at cutting costs in response. TD reported a $154-million restructuring charge Thursday; earlier this week, RBC said it spent $113 million on severance and BMO reported a $484-million charge as part of a five per cent staff cut. CIBC did not report a restructuring charge Thursday, but CEO Victor Dodig said the bank is looking at improving efficiencies and simplify operations, which “could potentially require a charge down the line in order to accelerate our progress.”

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The country’s second-biggest lender has joined RBC in being considered a global systemically important bank (G-SIB), meaning it must hold extra capital. TD was added at the lowest tier of the Financial Stability Board’s list, which was introduced after some lenders needed bailouts during the 2008 global financial crisis. (The Logic)

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Talking point: In March 2013, the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions named the six largest Canadian banks as domestic SIBs. These banks are subject to a capital surcharge, the statutory bail-in regime, more supervision, recovery and resolution planning and increased disclosure. TD is the 30th financial institution to be added to the global list, and is the world’s 27th largest bank in terms of total assets. JPMorgan Chase tops the ranking.

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The filing comes after the company struggled to find a buyer and repay its debt. It will sell ProFlowers, an online flower delivery company, for US$95 million. It’s selling U.K.-based Interflora for US$59.5 million. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: FTD is the latest casualty of internet disruption in the retail industry. Sears, which was the world’s largest retailer just 50 years ago, filed for bankruptcy in 2018 after it failed to compete with the discounts provided by online-shopping websites, and brick-and-mortar competitors like Walmart, which invested in e-commerce. Walmart has also implemented scan-and-go apps and one-day shipping to compete with Amazon. In 2014, FTD purchased the parent company of ProFlowers, once one of its competitors, for over US$400 million to boost its e-commerce segment. However, it struggled to integrate the two businesses.

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CEO Victor Dodig sent a memo to staff Thursday warning of an undisclosed number of job cuts in the coming months. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: CIBC cited a desire to improve its efficiency ratio, a measure of expenses relative to revenue, for the cuts. The bank had wanted to hit 55 per cent by the start of this year, but fell short, at 55.6 per cent. CIBC is the fourth major Canadian bank to report layoffs recently. Last year, BMO cut five per cent of its workforce and took a $484-million pre-tax restructuring charge. RBC and TD Bank took restructuring charges of US$83 million and $154 million, respectively, in their most recent quarters. Earlier this month, BMO and RBC said they weren’t planning more cuts this year, but CIBC and TD Bank did not rule out further restructuring charges. The Canadian layoffs follow significant cuts at global banks, which exceeded 75,000 staff.

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Leaders from the Gwich’in community are heading to Bay Street to pressure the country’s largest banks to follow the U.S. bank in ending funding for oil and natural gas drilling projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (CBC)

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Talking point: The Indigenous leaders are set to meet with representatives of RBC, Scotiabank, TD and CIBC. All four banks have investments in Arctic energy development, with TD being the largest investor at about $400 million. Goldman Sachs is the first big U.S. bank to scrap financing for energy exploration, joining institutions like Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland, in the world’s fastest-warming region. Goldman Sachs’ new environmental policy, outlined Sunday as international climate talks in Madrid wrapped up, also prohibits financing for new coal-fired power plants that don’t have carbon emissions-reduction technology. The bank promised to invest US$750 billion in “sustainable finance” over the next decade.